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 just four colleges to have won national championships in men’s football, basketball, and baseball.
The official appointment of Gene Smith to the heralded position of athletic director for Ohio State occurred on March 5, 2005. In leading up to his position as the head of one of the most robust college sports programs in the country Gene acquired relevant work experience while serving as the athletic director at Eastern Michigan, Iowa State, and Arizona State.
While many casual fans predominately think of football and basketball when they think of college athletics the spectrum of varsity sports is really quite diverse. In total Mr. Smith oversees approximately 900 student athletes that span a gauntlet of 39 varsity sports (20 women and 19 men). The Buckeyes have won national championships in numerous sports that are often forgotten about including synchronized swimming, gymnastics, and fencing.
Long before carrying the burden of the highly scrutinized position of Ohio State University athletic director Gene Smith was raised in Cleveland, Ohio not far from the Columbus, Ohio location of the main OSU campus. Smith was an athlete in his youth at St. Peter Chanel High School in nearby Bedford, Ohio and went onto the University of Notre Dame in Indiana where he earned an athletic scholarship as a defensive end for the football team.
Before graduating from Notre Dame in 1977 Gene was part of the 1973 national championship football team. Gene got his diploma in business administration and stayed with his alma mater as an assistant coach with the football program until 1981.
In 1981 Gene Smith experimented with a brief career stint outside the realm 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 that his true calling was a lifelong career devoted to collegiate sports.
In 1983 the Ohio native found a position at Eastern Michigan University where he was able to 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 the year 2000 when he moved across the country to Tempe, Arizona to accept the position as athletic director of Arizona State University.