Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith Receives Contract Extension

The agreement will keep Smith in charge of the athletic department through at least the 2025-26 academic year.
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As first reported by The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith will receive a four-year contract extension that will keep him at the university through at least the 2025-26 academic year.

The agreement, which was signed by Smith and Ohio State president Kristina M. Johnson in March, is still subject to approval by the university board of trustees at its meeting this week.

The 65-year-old Smith – who had one year remaining on an extension signed in 2019 that paid him $1.47 million this year – will now earn a base salary of $1.58 million per year, as well as compensation for public relations, media and promotional appearances totaling $480,000. He will be eligible for pay increases in September. 

Smith is in his 16th year at the head of the athletic department after previous stints at Arizona State, Eastern Michigan and Iowa State. He currently oversees one of the country’s largest and most successful athletic departments, which includes 36 varsity sports and more than 1,000 student-athletes competing for Big Ten and NCAA championships.

Smith has also served on the NCAA Management Council, NCAA Committee on Infractions, Rose Bowl Management Committee, NCAA Football Rules Committee, NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Committee and College Football Playoff Committee, among others. 

He also navigated the athletic department through challenges associated with the coronavirus pandemic, which includes leading the Big Ten back to play after it initially postponed the fall football season, so it should come as no surprise that head coach Ryan Day approves of the extension.

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