Gene Smith, Ohio State University (OSU) Buckeyes Athletic Director (AD) – Biography
Gene Smith is the Athletic Director (or AD for short) of the Ohio State University (OSU) Buckeyes athletic program. Mr. Smith oversees a diverse assortment of both men’s and women’s sports for a school that has the unique distinction of being one of only four colleges to win national championships in men’s soccer, basketball and baseball.
The official appointment of Gene Smith to the announced position of Athletic Director for Ohio State took place on March 5, 2005. In order to reach his position at the head of one of the most established college athletic programs in the country, Gene gained relevant work experience while serving as athletic director at Eastern Michigan, Iowa State and Arizona State.
Although many casual fans primarily think of football and basketball when they think of college athletics, the spectrum of college sports is really quite diverse. In total, Mr. Smith oversees approximately 900 student-athletes spanning 39 varsity sports (20 women’s and 19 men’s). The Buckeyes have won national championships in many often-forgotten sports, including synchronized swimming, gymnastics and fencing.
Long before assuming the burden of the highly controlled position of Ohio State University athletic director, Gene Smith grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, not far from where OSU’s main campus is located in Columbus, Ohio. Smith was an athlete in his youth at St. Peter Chanel High School in nearby Bedford, Ohio and attended the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, where he earned an athletic scholarship as a quarterback on the football team.
Before graduating from Notre Dame in 1977, Gene was part of the 1973 National Football Team. Gene earned his degree in business administration and remained at his alma mater as an assistant coach in the football program until 1981.
In 1981, Gene Smith experimented with a brief career outside of college athletics when he accepted a job in the marketing department of International Business Machines (IBM). After two years in the private sector, Smith realized his true calling was a lifelong career dedicated to collegiate sports.
In 1983, the Ohio native found a position at Eastern Michigan University where he could serve as an assistant athletic director. In 1986, Gene became the full-time head athletic director at Eastern Michigan. Seven years later in 1993, Gene became the AD at Iowa State University where he dutifully served until 2000 when he moved across the country to Tempe, Arizona to accept the position of Athletic Director at Arizona State University.
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