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Ohio State AD Gene Smith Announces Retirement

Ohio State Buckeyes athletics director Gene Smith is retiring after serving in the position for 18 years.

Ohio State Buckeyes athletics director Gene Smith announced his retirement in a press conference at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center Wednesday.

Smith will be stepping down effective June 30, 2024. Smith, the Buckeyes' eighth athletics director, has served as Ohio State's athletics director since March 5, 2005.

"It's been a pleasure every single day and an honor to wake up and and come to work and try and create an environment for our student athletes to be successful," Smith said. "It's been my aspiration every single day to work for them."

Smith said the changing landscape of college football did not factor into his decision to retire.

"I've always embraced change," Smith said "Those changes were not a part of this decision. Everything that's happening I've seen before. Realignment, I was blessed to be a part of the committee when the Big 8 went to the Big 12, so realignment is not new to me. NIL is new to me. The transfer portal is not new to me. Olympic sports have been dealing with that for years."

Smith said his colleagues would tell him he would know when he's ready to retire, and he did after a conversation with his wife.

"This summer Sheila and I sat down," Smith said. "And I just said it's time."

Smith said the football national championship, three men's volleyball championships and the wrestling national championship was "unreal." On the flip side, Smith said the 2011 football season "was hell."

Smith created the Eugene D. Smith Leadership Institute with different individual programs to help Buckeye athletes become leaders and better people.

Smith also served on the College Football Playoff selection committee for the 2017-18 seasons.

"I'm most proud that we've been able to create a culture where we developed a student athlete holistically," Smith said.

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