Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith announced Wednesday morning at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center that following a 19-year run with the Buckeyes, he will retire effective on June 30, 2024.
“(My wife) Sheila and I have made a decision that effective June 30, 2024, we’re going to retire from The Ohio State University,” Smith said. “It’s been a great opportunity to work with a lot of people here.
“I just want to thank the leadership of Ohio Sate during my tenure that provided me an unbelievable opportunity to lead this program, and so the last 18 years and the start of my 19th has been phenomenal,” he continued. “The presidents and Board of Trustees that I’ve worked for have just been tremendous and just great people. Great opportunities they provided me.”
Smith, 67, said the search for Ohio State’s next athletic director will begin once the university has a new president in place. Should a president not be in place for the search to begin, it will be handled by Ohio State’s Board of Trustees.
“I’ve always believed that a leader seeks to be the right person at the right time in the life of an institution,” he said. “We just believe that July 2024 is the right time to welcome in new leadership to build on what we’ve already achieved. Making this announcement now affords me the opportunity to work with my colleagues, the president’s cabinet, and hopefully facilitate a transition for the next president once she or he is appointed.
“But after a 39-year career in intercollegiate athletics administration, Sheila and I look forward to our next chapter, and we plan to spend more consistent, quality time with children, our grandchildren and our extended family.”
Smith arrived at Ohio State in 2005 after stints as athletic director at Eastern Michigan (1985-93), Iowa State (1993-00) and Arizona State (2000-05). He is the third-longest tenured athletic director in Ohio State history that includes eight athletic directors, with his 19 years at the helm trailing only Lynn W. St. John (1912-47) and Richard Larkins (1947-70).
Under Smith, Ohio State has led the Big Ten in the Director’s Cup standings eight times, and Ohio State’s teams have won 115 team and 369 individual Big Ten championships, and 32 team and 117 individual national championships.
Buckeye Sports Bulletin will have more on this breaking news story.