August 1, 2018

Gene Smith’s AD Tree


In July, three former Ohio State athletics administrators who now lead Division I Power Five programs returned to Columbus to take part in the Lead 1 Institute seminar.

Patrick Chun of Washington State, Martin Jarmond of Boston College and Heather Lyke of Pittsburgh all presented in the three days of programming. was able to catch up with all three former Buckeye leaders who “came up through the ranks” at Ohio State under the guidance of Gene Smith, OSU Senior Vice President & Wolfe Foundation Endowed Athletics Director.

Full interviews with Chun, Jarmond and Lyke will be available later this year on the new Gene Smith Podcast.


At the end of the day leadership is given to you by others. Understand your role to serve and impact others.

"I went to Ohio State with dreams of working in sports and to have someone like Gene Smith kind of pull you aside and say if that's your goal ... together we can get there."

Leadership is a contact sport. You have to get on the ground level and get to know people.

"If you start with a humanstic approach and that is something Gene really preaches. If you meet people there - where they are - usually you can accomplish great things."

Ohio State prepares you because you get to see it all at an extremely high level.

"(Gene) had great relationships up and down the entire organization. I think he a genuine relationship people and I think he does that by being honest."

How to connect with people. Its about motivating people. It is about understanding people. That personal side is so important.

"Get as much experience in every single phase of athletics as you can and make sure you understand what you are asking your people to do."