New deal keeps Smith in Columbus until 2026
Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith has signed a contract extension that keeps him with the university until June 2026, when he will be 70-years old.
The deal needs to approved by the school’s board of trustees, but that should happen this week.
Smith was named the OSU athletic director on March 5, 2005 – making him the eighth person to hold the position. He’d held the same role with Arizona State, Iowa State and Eastern Michigan before coming to Columbus.
Among Smith’s achievements are the fact that he has helped to raise more than $130 million for the construction of the Schumaker Complex, Covelli Arena, Ty Tucker Tennis Center, as well as a renovation at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. Plus, he has introduced multiple programs to help student-athletes transition to life after college. That includes internships and career fairs that coaches have used, not only to help their players develop, but as recruiting tools.
During this past year, Smith advocated for Ohio State athletes, urging the use of stringent health protocols, rather than the cancellation of of the fall football season. He has served as the chair of the Division I Men’s Basketball Committee and a member of the College Football Playoff selection committee.
Smith’s base salary under the new agreement will be $1.58 million.
Update: Ohio State football coach Ryan Day has expressed his happiness with Smith’s extension.