Buckeye farewell: AD Smith to retire in 2024

  • Blake Baumgartner, ESPN Personnel WriterAug 9, 2023, 10:43 AM ET

Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith is retiring at the end of the 2023-24 academic year, he revealed Wednesday morning.Smith, who has actually led the Buckeyes ‘athletic department since March 2005, will step down reliable June 30, 2024.”I have constantly believed that a leader looks for to be the ideal person at the right time in the life of the institution,” Smith stated Wednesday at a news conference.”I believe that July 2024 is the right time to invite new management to build upon what we have achieved and continue to build upon the terrific custom of excellence in sports and company development at Ohio State.”I am permanently grateful.”University president Kristina Johnson announced in November that she would be stepping down at the conclusion of the 2022-23 academic year, and the university is still looking for her replacement.Smith, the eighth AD for Ohio State and the third-longest-serving AD in school history, wanted to step aside before a permanent president was picked so they would have the runway to put their blueprint on the department.” I truly think with this presidential modification, which will be extremely positive– whoever they hire– it gives her or him the chance

to employ their leader and make a run and develop on what these coaches and the personnel and the student-athletes have already done,” he said.Smith has actually been at the leading edge of the Big Ten’s expansion efforts over the past year, which culminated Friday with the news that Oregon and Washington would likewise sign up with USC and UCLA in the Big Ten next fall.Smith said Fox” brought brand-new cash to the table “for Oregon and Washington which the figures inside the media rights handle Fox, CBS and NBC” stayed the very same”for the schools already in the conference.Under Smith’s stewardship, the Buckeyes have won 32 team and 117 private national championships along with 115 team and 369 individual titles within the Big Ten.When asked about his most significant difficulties while

in charge of the department, Smith stated”2011 was hell.” Quarterback Terrelle Pryor was one of five players suspended for the very first 5 games that season for selling memorabilia and receiving inappropriate benefits from a tattoo parlor. Jim Tressel, who led the program to the 2002 BCS nationwide title, eventually was fired as an outcome, and Luke Fickell took control of on an interim basis prior to Urban Meyer was worked with in 2012.”That hurt,”Smith said.”The student-athletes who were impacted didn’t be worthy of the charges that they needed to handle. That was hard. People were affected adversely, which was a hard time.”Years later, previous wide receivers coach Zach Smith was fired in July 2018 after claims of domestic violence came to light. Gene Smith and Meyer were suspended for mishandling problems throughout Zach Smith’s time with the program, which started in 2012. Smith, a Cleveland local who played

college football at Notre Dame, formerly acted as an athletic director at Arizona State(2000-05), Iowa State( 1993-2000)and Eastern Michigan(1985-93).

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