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Oct. 16, 2008

COLUMBUS, Ohio–Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee today (October 16, 2008) announced the extension of Gene Smith’s contract as director of athletics through 2016.

Gene Smith is not only one of the country’s finest collegiate athletics directors, but he is also one of its most dedicated academic leaders,” Gee said.  “All of us at Ohio State — our students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends — are very fortunate to have his sound judgment and leadership.”

The contract extension formalizes Smith’s additional responsibilities as assistant vice president, broadening his role beyond athletics. In addition, Smith’s base salary was increased from $600,000 to $648,000. If certain athletic and academic benchmarks are met, He could receive incentive bonuses up to $100,000. Smith’s compensation is paid entirely through athletics department funds; no public funds are used.

“I’m excited and honored to receive this extension. I’m committed to supporting President Gee and his vision for the institution. I look forward every day to supporting our student athletes and coaches. I’ve enjoyed experiences at many institutions but none like this. This is my final home. Sheila and I have put down roots in Columbus,” Smith said.

Smith began his tenure as Ohio State’s athletics director in 2005. He was a finalist for Sports Business Journal’s athletics director of the year and was named to the Legends of Class Minority Athletics Administrators list.

Ohio State is one of a handful of universities in the country with a self-sustaining athletics program. From revenues generated by sports events, television rights, including the Big Ten Network and other sources, the Department of Athletics transfers approximately $20 million each year to other programs in the university. Recently the Department of Athletics committed $9 million to the renovation of the historic William Oxley Thompson Memorial (Main) Library.

With nearly 900 student athletes, 36 varsity sports and an annual budget of more than $100 million, Ohio State has the largest self-financed athletics program in the country. In 2007-08, Ohio State athletics was commended nationally for NCAA academic progress rate, Overall Excellence in Diversity and for ranking second in the Degree Completion Program.

Gene Smith speaks to the NCAA Women’s Final Four site selection committee Oct. 15 at Ohio Stadium. Columbus is a candidate for the event between 2012-16.