Texas A&M Football Presser Sheds Light on Fisher Firing Decision
Ross Bjork, the Athletic Director at Texas A&M, met with the media at 5 PM today to discuss the firing of Texas A&M football coach Jimbo Fisher. You can view the presser at this link or below.
Here are some notable things that Bjork mentioned during his presser.
Quotes from Ross Bjork on Texas A&M Football Firing Jimbo
Ross started off with a prepared statement. Throughout the statement, he underscored very clearly that the decision to fire Jimbo was his, and that it was based on the assessment that the Aggies were not reaching their potential. According to Bjork, the decision was made on Thursday. He touched on the point that there is nowhere else in the country where 103K would have turned out for a game between a 5-4 and 4-5 team in this situation—yet, that’s just what the 12th Man did.
He mentioned that the program seemed to be stuck in neutral; that Texas A&M football should be relevant on the national scene, but wasn’t. The standards he had for the program were not being met. He relayed that they met with Jimbo at 9 AM this morning to give him the news, and called a player meeting at 11 AM. They had obviously all already heard by that time, but he took the time to speak to the team and inform them that Elijah Robinson would be the interim. Several times throughout the press conference, Bjork spoke glowingly of the team’s response to Robinson in that meeting.
As far as the buyout goes, Bjork said in no uncertain terms that there was a very definite plan for how it will be paid; the initial amount due will come from undesignated funds from the 12th Man Foundation, and the yearly amount due will come from the AD’s budget. He was very clear: this buyout will only involve athletic and TMF funds.
Here are a few select answers he gave that I found of most interest:
Asked why the timetable might have changed for this decision, Bjork remarked that you either are moving forward or you’re stuck—and that the Aggies were stuck. As regards why specifically now compared to after the Ole Miss game, which seemed to be the straw that broke the camel’s back, Bjork remarked that the Aggies could prepare for ACU based on the opponent better with an interim HC than they could have for Mississippi State. Asked later about his meeting with Jimbo, Bjork said that it was “quick and cordial.”
On what it was that bothered him most about the issues with football, Ross kept going back to consistency—in performance, leadership, decision making, and more. He was asked also about why he chose Robinson to be the interim HC, to which he responded that the players were the most important factor. Robinson is a great leader and great coach, and having two experienced coordinators helps that be a possibility as well. The question was put to Bjork later on whether Robinson was a candidate for the opening, and he replied that everyone is a candidate at this point.
A reporter asked whether anything had changed in Jimbo’s coaching since he first arrived in College Station. After thinking for a bit, Bjork replied that the best leaders adapt, and adaptability and evolution were musts in the modern game. He wouldn’t say whether Jimbo did or did not do that, but he did mention that whatever happened did not work, leading them to this decision.