Mission Statement


We foster a culture that provides the opportunity to develop our student-athletes through success in academics and competition to achieve excellence in life.


  • Integrity: We will act with integrity and personal accountability.
  • Education: We will educate each student-athlete with quality academic, competitive, leadership and social experiences to build a sense of responsibility and foster an appreciation for life-long learning.
  • People: We will keep the well-being of our student-athletes, coaches and staff at the core of every decision.
  • Excellence: We will excel in performance, achievement and service.
  • Respect: We will celebrate a climate of mutual respect and diversity by recognizing each individual’s contribution to the team.
  • Innovation: We will encourage innovation, develop a curious mindset and embrace change.
  • Community: We will enhance the lives of those in our university, city and state communities by helping and paying forward to others.
  • Tradition: We will build upon our traditions which have been developed throughout our proud history.

The Ohio State Department of Athletics

Nationally recognized as one of the most comprehensive in all of college athletics, the Ohio State Department of Athletics offers 36 intercollegiate sports.

Few schools can boast the overall history of success the Ohio State Buckeyes have enjoyed over the years. The varsity program is respected as one of the most comprehensive in all of college athletics and is 36 sports strong – 16 for men, 17 for women and three coed. Each year, Ohio State teams claim numerous Big Ten championships, compete in NCAA tournaments and vie for national titles while producing countless individual conference and national champions, All-America performers and scholar-athletes.

Ohio State’s Department of Athletics is under the direction of Gene Smith. Just the eighth athletics director in Ohio State history, Smith has developed a vision that will keep the Buckeyes among the nation’s elite in the 21st century.

Some of the greatest names in athletics have worn the Scarlet and Gray, most notably four-time Olympic gold medalist Jesse Owens, golf great Jack Nicklaus, two-time Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin and two-time NCAA men’s basketball Player of the Year Jerry Lucas.

Other famous Buckeyes include the late Woody Hayes, who coached the football team to a sparkling 205-61-10 record from 1951-78; Stephanie Hightower, the former world and American record holder in the 60-yard hurdles; John Havlicek, who helped lead Ohio State to the 1960 NCAA basketball title before an NBA Hall of Fame career with the Boston Celtics; Jim Jackson, the 1992 National Player of the Year for men’s basketball; Tracey Hall, one of the Big Ten’s only two-time All-America basketball honorees; Eddie George, the 1995 Heisman Trophy winner; Orlando Pace, the first player to repeat as Lombardi Award winner and the No. 1 pick in the 1997 NFL Draft; and Katie Smith, OSU’s first women’s basketball representative in the Olympic games and the Big Ten’s all-time scoring leader.

Ohio State is recognized across the country as a leader in collegiate athletics. Nearly 1,000 student-athletes participated on 36 Ohio State athletics teams in 2011-12.

Smith believes the whole of athletics success starts with success of the individual parts. Those individual parts worked, competed and prospered well enough to put Ohio State among the national leaders in the prestigious Director’s Cup, given annually to the nation’s most successful athletics program. Ohio State has finished in the Top 10 each of the last four years, including a fourth-place finish in 2011-12.

Teams, individual student-athletes, coaches, staff and administrators regularly claim championships, academic and athletics awards, recognition and praise for their tireless efforts as Ohio State Department of Athletics family members. In 2011-12, a record 548 Buckeyes were named Ohio State Scholar-Athletes, while teams picked up two national championships, along with 12 individual national titles. The 2011-12 campaign also saw Ohio State earn six conference crowns and 25 individual conference championships.