Gene Smith Elevated to Vice President

By Kyle Rowland on January 28, 2014 at 4:06p
Gene Smith will be the AD and VP of Ohio State University.

Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith will be promoted to vice president of Ohio State University, pending a vote by the board of trustees this week. He will remain in charge of the athletic department through 2020 and receive a $100,000 raise, upping his annual salary to $940,484 per year. Smith will be eligible for yearly merit-based raises. 

Smith's current contract was set to expire in 2016.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to lead the athletics program at a university with a national reputation for excellence that encompasses a broad-range of areas,” Smith said in a statement. “Working with the coaches, athletics staff, faculty and staff across the university enables us to provide positive experiences for the young people we serve, while finding ways to help them become global citizens impacting the world.”

His new role will include responsibilities on the business side and entertainment venues. Smith will be responsible for boosting revenue for Nationwide Arena and creating opportunities for the university to be involved. He will also have joint oversight of the Office of Business and Finance in the university's Business Advancement Division, which includes the Jerome Schottenstein Center, the Blackwell Inn, Drake Union, the Fawcett Center and the Office of Trademark and Licensing Services.

“Gene Smith is one of this country’s most accomplished collegiate athletics directors, with an exemplary record of national leadership and service,” interim OSU President Joseph A. Alutto said. “Thanks to his dedication to student success, graduation success rates of Ohio State’s student-athletes have risen by 11 percentage points, to 89 percent. His vision and commitment to excellence have made Ohio State’s Department of Athletics one of the strongest in the nation.”


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Doc's picture

Congrats Gene I hope Urban doesn't fire you.

CJDPHoS Member

The Official DDS of 11W

Golden Buckeye's picture

I'm not sure if I like this move. Especially only 3 years after our football scandal. I don't like mixing athletics with all of the business behind the scenes 

OSUStu's picture

I guess this means we will need to have co-Athletic Directors.

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.  ~ Bruce Lee

Denny's picture

Well deserved. 


MN Buckeye's picture

While football and mens basketball have been strong for some time, the other sports have been building strong programs as well. It seems that he has at least brought stability and growth to the athletic programs, and he is being rewarded for it.

buckifishr's picture

Don't forget Andy Geiger got this all rolling by hiring Jim tressel and building bill Davis, the Scott, and renovating the shoe.
It wasn't just one man.

vitaminB's picture

How did Joey Biden take the news?

Nashville Buckeye's picture

Gene Smith is a BOSS!
He's the right man for the job.  This will ensure that both our academic and athletic programs continue to be near the top in the nation for years to come!  Congrats Gene!

TNbuckeye91's picture

whats with nashville buckeyes comment getting downvoted.

I come from a long line high, low, and in-between, the same as you. - TVZ

Squirrel Master's picture

working at a University, this is how it kind of works (I assume OSU is similar because it is a state school):
States are cutting budgets left and right, so the Education budget gets chunked fairly often when this happens. Even if they don't cut the budget, they definitely aren't adding to it either. So, many Universities have been on a "no raise" policy. Instead, they try to get you a new title which gives you the requisite pay raise. Being the AD, there isn't a title that he could get other than what they gave him to give him a nice little chunk of change. Everyone is entitled to a pay increase (another way Universities get around this is calling raises "onetime cost of living increase") for hard work whether you think he ultimately deserves it or not. Yes he gets paid extremely well but that doesn't mean he shouldn't strive for more salary, like we all do.
A good example is one of my co-workers is a department manager. After being advanced to manager senior and so on, they eventually had to give her the title of "Assistant Dean" for her department. She is not a faculty member or a real dean, but it was the next evolution for her job without just getting a standard "raise".
so really, he can have the VP title all he wants but he still is mainly just an AD that got a raise.

I saw a UFO told me to have a goodyear!

Riggins's picture

But he didn't self-impose a bowl ban so I heard he must be the worst AD ever!

BoFuquel's picture

Congrats Gene; well deserved. GO BUCKS!

I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.

Gametime's picture

Tressel for AD?

Between goals and achievement is discipline and consistency. That fire you have inside to do whatever you love is placed there by God. Now go claim it. ~ Denzel Washington

ScarletNGrey01's picture

One of Gene Smith's requirements when coming on board OSU was that his wife be given a job by the university.  I remember she was made some kind of a VP doing fund raising starting at $175K a year back then, had that position until about two years ago.  A good deal if you can pull it off I guess.

The will to win is not as important as the will to prepare to win. -- Woody Hayes

andretolstoy's picture

It's not out of the ordinary for these things to happen. Where Universities have the funds, even professors are able to obtain work for their spouses.
I think overall GS is a pretty good AD, but he dropped the ball pretty badly a few years back. And I don't give him all the credit for getting UM. Ohio State sells itself.
Like I said below, if this means he eventually relinquishes the AD position so that JT gets picked up. So be it!

FLAMikey's picture

profs wives don't get that kind of deal.....not on top of what is already a premium deal.

andretolstoy's picture

Perhaps. Not sure what sort of deal she got? I just know prof's spouses can get employed by the university if they have it in the budget.

CarolinaBuck's picture

Gene Smith continues to stumble his way to the top. Congrats, I guess.

740's picture

tress fell on the sword for this golden domer piece of detritus. also, gene's salary is 3 times as much as governors Strickland and kasich were compensated. think about that.
Archie griffin was born to be osu a.d. gene smith was born for slimy back office politics. 

Deadly Nuts's picture

The fuck is this, Gene?


OSUStu's picture

Lmao. +1

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.  ~ Bruce Lee

TheBadOwl's picture

Call me crazy, but after looking at that new logo enough, I'm starting to actually like it. 

When I walked in this morning and saw the flag was at half mast I thought, "Alright, another bureaucrat ate it." but then I saw it was Li'l Sebastian. Half mast is too high. Show some damn respect.

buckifishr's picture

You are crazy!!!

andretolstoy's picture

Why can't we just have the classic "Block O"?

northcampus's picture

Gene Smith is playing the game.  Love him or hate him, he's climbing life's ladder and has miraculously managed to outlast two of the icons in the industry (EGG and James Patrick Tressel).  Gene is a professional politician specializing within the context of quasi-amateur athletics.   As someone infamously stated, 'don't hate the player, hate the game.'  Gene is simply working the system.

740's picture

as an athletic director at a top 5 athletic university, you are not a player; you *are* the game.

Guapisimo's picture

I threw up in the back of my mouth when I saw the headline. I'm pretty sure Devier Posey's mom did too.

frogbaby236's picture

Why does it say Nationwide Arena? Did you mean Value City Arena?

spqr2008's picture

Ohio State is managing Nationwide Arena as well as the Schott, because they'll do it for less than the city was paying its last management team, and because they are more competent than the city's management team for Nationwide.

andretolstoy's picture

Makes total sense.

Go1Bucks's picture

Geez, just can't get rid of him can we?

Go Bucks!

VestedInterest's picture

Gene may be a good AD in most instances but he sure as hell dropped the ball when it counted the most...
He owes James Tressel a debt of gratitude imo.

CliffordTheBRD's picture

The timing for this seems off, while OSU still has an interim president and is hopefully close to getting a new one. Why would you give someone under them a long-term deal like they are? It just doesn't seem right.

andretolstoy's picture

Heck. If it is a trade off. Let Gene Smith be the VP. Just get James Patrick Tressel as our AD.
I think with Urban as HC and Jimmy T as AD, in the words of John Stewart, "The internet would explode." And I'd be darn proud to be a Buckeye.

HattanBuck85's picture

Gene knows where all the bodies are buried...

"The height of human desire is what wins, whether it's on Normandy Beach or in Ohio Stadium." - Woody Hayes

WC Buckeye's picture

...and has pictures with some of them consorting with goats...

The only thing that's new in the world is the history that we have forgotten.

FLAMikey's picture

My comments from a duplicate post: The Dispatch has reported the details: VP title, contract extension through 2020, 100k raise (annual comp now over 900k). Looks like reaction on FB is about 10:1 negative. Curious as to what readers here think. Personally, I think he owes most of this deal to Urban Meyer. If he doesn't get Meyer, this deal doesn't happen. As to whether he truly deserves it, it's hard to deny that the one time he has faced real adversity (Tat Gate), he fumbled (and badly). Coming off that fumble, it occurred to me that Meyer might leverage him out as a condition of taking the position at tOSU (but of course that didn't happen). And, I guess I still have a bit of a bad taste in my mouth over the terms of his original deal. He received a premium deal, and it was reported by several outlets that the deal was partly a result of Smith being "a well qualified minority candidate".......I don't have too much of a problem with that (especially since such a high percentage of revenue sports athletes are AF), but this wasn't enough. Smith also negotiated a cushy six figure job for his wife as part of the deal. It's this kind of thing that stirs up the faculty and further alienates them and causes them to "go negative" on university athletics. One has to wonder how much his "status" insulated him from getting replaced after the Tat Gate fiasco (while JT got the ax).