1-28-2014

Contact: Gary Lewis, 614-688-2048

Ohio State Names Eugene Smith Vice President

Extends contract to 2020, recognizes broad leadership

Columbus, Ohio – Ohio State University Interim President Joseph Alutto today announced the promotion and contract extension of Eugene Smith, naming him vice president in addition to his continuing duties as director of athletics, pending approval by the Board of Trustees later this week.

The contract extends his term for an additional four years, from June 30, 2016, to June 30, 2020, and also formalizes his added responsibilities as vice president. Under terms of the agreement, Smith continues to report directly to the university president. Smith’s base salary, effective July 1, 2013, is $940,484 per year, and he is eligible for standard, university wide merit-based salary increases each year. His compensation is paid entirely through athletics department revenues, using no tuition or tax dollars.

In addition to overseeing the university’s intercollegiate athletics programs, Smith now has joint oversight responsibility with the Office of Business and Finance for the Business Advancement Division of Ohio State. Business Advancement includes: the Jerome Schottenstein Center, the Blackwell Inn, Drake Union, the Fawcett Center and the Office of Trademark and Licensing Services. Smith also has responsibility for the Nationwide Arena Management agreement to increase existing revenue streams and pursue new revenue opportunities through creative collaboration and innovation. In addition, he will partner with the Office of Business and Finance for responsibility of the university’s affinity agreements.

"Gene Smith is one of this country’s most accomplished collegiate athletics directors, with an exemplary record of national leadership and service,” said Alutto. “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. Expanding his leadership reach to work more closely with other university functions can only strengthen us all. ”

Since becoming Ohio State’s eighth athletics director in 2005, Smith’s guidance has brought national recognition in both athletics and academic achievements for its 36 fully funded varsity programs supporting more than 1,000 student-athletes yearly.

Under Smith’s leadership the Buckeyes have won 10 team national championships, 60 individual national championships and eight National Players of the Year; produced 662 All-Americans, 22 Olympians, 53 Big Ten Conference team championships, 149 Big Ten Conference individual champions and 70 Big Ten Conference athletes of the year as well as 471 First-Team and 361 Second-Team All-Conference selections and numerous coaching awards.

Ohio State student-athletes have participated in numerous conference championship and NCAA post-season competitions. During Smith’s tenure, the football team has participated in six BCS bowl games with two national championship game appearances. The men’s basketball team has competed in five Sweet 16 and three Elite Eight games, as well as two Final Fours. Most recently the women's rowing team captured the 2013 NCAA national championship.

At the conclusion of the 2010-11 year, Ohio State’s Athletics Department placed second in the Director’s Cup, enjoying one of the most successful seasons under Smith and celebrating the highest national finish for the university with this prestigious award.

Student-athletes also have continued to thrive academically with Smith’s direction. In terms of the NCAA Graduation Success Rate improvement, all Ohio State student-athletes had a GSR of 61 percent in 2005-06. That has increased to 89 percent in the most recent NCAA report (Oct. 24, 2013). Over that same time frame, the GSR for football improved from 55 to 75 percent. The Federal Graduation Rate has gone from 69 percent in 2005-06 to 76 percent in 2012-13. Smith has seen 2,408 academic all-Big Ten selections and 336 Big Ten Distinguished Scholars, over 1,500 student-athletes graduate and 80 athletes return to Ohio State to graduate from the Degree Completion Program.

Smith’s comprehensive leadership has been nationally recognized. He was honored with the 2013 National Association for Athletics Compliance Organizational Leadership Award, recognizing leaders who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to promoting compliance within their organization and at a national level. He has served on numerous NCAA committees and administrative cabinets. He was a five-year member of the NCAA Men’s Basketball committee, concluding as the committee chair during the 2010-11 season. He was honored as the Sports Business Journal Athletics Director of the Year in 2010. Smith also accepted the Diversity in Athletics Award in 2008 for overall excellence in diversity within the Ohio State Department of Athletics.

“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,” said Smith. “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,” he continued.

“Ohio State is an amazing institution and I am proud to be a Buckeye.”

As a successful fund raiser, in partnership with the development staff, he has raised over $400,000,000. He has overseen major construction and renovations throughout the athletics footprint.

The athletics department is completely self-supporting; it receives no state tax or student tuition dollars. In fiscal year 2013, the department transferred nearly $30 million in assessments to the university, including more than $16 million in grant-in-aid reimbursement.

About The Ohio State University
The Ohio State University is a dynamic community of diverse resources, where opportunity thrives and where individuals transform themselves and the world. Founded in 1870, Ohio State is a world-class public research university and the leading comprehensive teaching and research institution in the state of Ohio. With more than 63,000 students (including 57,000 in Columbus), the Wexner Medical Center, 14 colleges, 80 centers and 175 majors, the university offers its students tremendous breadth and depth of opportunity in the liberal arts, the sciences and the professions.