Gene Smith (athletic director)

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Gene Smith is an American college administrator and former college football player and coach who currently serves as vice president and Athletic Director for The Ohio State University.

He was named the university's eighth athletic director on March 5, 2005. Prior to his tenure at Ohio State, he served as athletic director for Arizona State, Eastern Michigan, and Iowa State.

In 2003, when he was Athletic Director of Arizona State, Smith infamously told boosters and supporters of the football team to “Get over it.”, following an emotional loss to rival University of Arizona.

Early life/playing and coaching career[edit]

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Smith played defensive end for four years at Notre Dame[1] including the 1973 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team that won the AP National Championship. He graduated from Notre Dame in 1977, becoming the first member of his family to graduate from college. That year, he became an assistant coach of the Fighting Irish football team, which would go on to win the Undisputed National Championship.[2]

Athletic director positions[edit]

Administrative career[edit]

He was also identified as one of Black Enterprise's "50 most powerful African-Americans in sports". He has previous affiliations with the NCAA Management Council, the NCAA committee on Infractions, the Rose Bowl Management Committee, and the NCAA Football Rules Committee. Smith was named to the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Committee in 2006 and became the chair in 2010.[6]

In January 2014 Smith was promoted to vice president of the university. He will continue in his duties as athletic director, while also having an expanding role in other areas of the university.[7]

Under Smith's watch as athletic director, Ohio State has won eight NCAA recognized National Championships in various team sports - three men's titles (football, wrestling, two in volleyball) three women's titles (rowing), and one co-ed title (fencing).[8]

In 2018, Smith was suspended for 17 days, along with head football coach Urban Meyer, for mishandling of domestic violence allegations against wide receivers coach Zach Smith.

Awards and honors[edit]


  • 1973 AP National Championship (with Notre Dame)


  • 1977 Undisputed National Championship (as an assistant coach with Notre Dame)



  1. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ a b Smith bio - Ohio State
  3. ^ Heather Lyke Biography, see "Eastern Michigan University Athletic Directors Through the Years" at bottom
  4. ^ Iowa State Daily - Athletic Director Smith will go to Arizona
  5. ^ Ohio State Gene Smith Biography
  6. ^ The Men's Division I Basketball Committee
  7. ^ Smith gets new title -
  8. ^ "Buckeye Champions - Ohio State". Archived from the original on 2015-03-16. Retrieved 2016-03-22.
  9. ^ "Sports Awards -". Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2016-03-22.

External links[edit]