COLUMBUS — Gene Smith, Athletic Director for The Ohio State University, announced Wednesday he will retire next year.
He has spent the last 18 years at Ohio State leading one of the most successful athletics programs in the country.
“I have always believed that a leader seeks to be the right person at the right time in the life of the institution,” Smith said at a news conference Wednesday. “I believe that July 2024 is the right time to welcome new leadership to build upon what we have achieved and continue to build upon the great tradition of excellence in athletics and business advancement at Ohio State.”
He thanked several people Wednesday ranging from the administration, his wife, Shelia, and Buckeye Nation.
“At Ohio State, we are truly blessed with the Best Damn Fans in the Land, and I want to thank Buckeye nation for its support,” said Smith. “Along with Buckeye nation, I want to thank the leadership of our business community for its support. I am immensely grateful to the network of business leaders who have invested in me and in our success.”
Ohio State teams have won 115 team Big Ten titles under Smith.
Smith’s last day will be June 30, 2024, and says he is looking forward to the next chapter of his life.
His tenure at Ohio State is the third longest among the school’s eight athletic directors.
The search for his successor will begin after the university selects a president in November, the Associated Press reported.
News Center 7 previously reported Kristina Johnson resigned as Ohio State president last year.
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