Gene Smith is now under contract with Ohio State for the next five years, and he's getting a raise in the process.
The Ohio State athletic director has agreed to a contract extension with the university that runs through June 30, 2026, and will pay him more than $2 million in annual compensation. The contract will be voted on by the Board of Trustees' Talent, Compensation and Governance Committee on Wednesday and will be up for final approval by the Board of Trustees on Thursday.
Smith's new contract will pay him $1.58 million in annual base salary – an increase from his previous base salary of $1.1 million – along with $480,000 in annual supplemental compensation for media, promotions and public relations.
Smith is also set to receive annual retention payments of $300,000 in 2022, $200,000 in 2023 and 2024, $250,000 in 2025 and $300,000 in 2026 for each year he remains Ohio State's athletic director.
The Ohio State athletic director will also be eligible for the following bonuses based on the performance of Ohio State's athletic department:
- $20,000 for a Big Ten football championship and $35,000 for an appearance in a College Football Playoff or New Year's Six game, which increases to $50,000 for a national championship game appearance
- $20,000 for a Big Ten men's basketball championship and $15,000 for an NCAA Tournament or NIT appearance, which increases to $25,000 for a Sweet 16 appearance, $35,000 for a Final Four appearance and $50,000 for a national championship game appearance
- $20,000 for a Big Ten women's basketball championship and $15,000 for an NCAA Tournament or NIT appearance, which increases to $25,000 for a Sweet 16 appearance, $35,000 for a Final Four appearance and $50,000 for a national championship game appearance
- $50,000 for a top-10 final ranking, $75,000 for a top-five final ranking or $100,000 for a first-place final ranking in the Director's Cup standings
- $50,000 for a top-10 final ranking, $75,000 for a top-five final ranking or $100,000 for a first-place final ranking in the women's standings for the CapitalOne Cup
- $55,000 for an average athlete GPA of over 3.0, which increases to $75,000 if over 3.3 and $90,000 if over 3.5
- $25,000 for a scholar-athlete rate of over 60%, which increases to $35,000 if over 65% and $50,000 if over 70%
- $25,000 for an athlete post-graduation job placement rate of 85%, which increases to $35,000 if over 90% and $50,000 if over 95%
The contract includes a $250,000 buyout if Smith leaves Ohio State before July 1, 2024, and includes a stipulation that he cannot become an athletic director of another Big Ten school at any point during the length of his contract.
While Smith had been rumored as a potential candidate for the Pac-12 commissioner job, he signed his new contract with Ohio State on March 15, indicating that he decided months ago to remain at Ohio State rather than pursue that job.
Ryan Day and Chris Holtmann shared their approval of Smith's contract extension on Twitter.
Congratulations to @OSU_AD on his well deserved contract extension. Grateful for his leadership. Happy for Gene and Sheila!— Chris Holtmann (@ChrisHoltmann) May 19, 2021