Forget about $1 million football assistant coaches - Ohio State will have an athletic director making nearly $1 million per year. Gene Smith will receive a four-year contract extension, a promotion to vice president and a raise, retroactive to last July, that will pay him $940,484 per year in base salary, the university announced on Tuesday. He was also announced as assuming new duties with the business office that Smith said in a phone interview he actually has been performing for about a year. With Ohio State less than three years removed from an NCAA scandal that cost football coach Jim Tressel his job, Smith, 58, now has a raise, a promotion, an extension and a plan to finish his career at Ohio State. Some questioned his status in 2011, but there's little doubt about it now. “I made sure I did what I should do and what was right,” Smith said Tuesday when asked about the idea that his job may have been on the line after the scandal. “I never swayed in my integrity. I understand that point of view, but the powers that be here and the people that I work with every day know what I stand for. "So I've had a positive impact on Ohio State athletics and Ohio State University, and I have a vision for the future." Smith said at the Orange Bowl that he didn't see an Ohio State assistant football coach making $1 million a year in the near future, but he said you never know what might happen. Salaries continue to escalate in big-time college sports. While Smith is taking on other duties, he said he wants to remain in charge of the athletics department as well. “I am an athletic director, so that's the core of who I am,” Smith said. “But I've been blessed enough that we've created a culture here and we have the leadership here that it's given me an opportunity to help in some other areas.” Smith said he went to OSU interim president Joseph Alutto with the desire to put in place a plan for Smith to finish his career in Columbus. Alutto, in a news release, called Smith one of the nation's most accomplished athletic directors. A Cleveland native, Smith came to Ohio State in 2005 after previously serving as the athletic director at Arizona State, Iowa State and Eastern Michigan. Now he plans to be at Ohio State for good, mentioning that his extension through 2020 puts him basically in line with the current contracts of football coach Urban Meyer and basketball coach Thad Matta. "Our goal is to have an athletic department that's stable," Smith said. "Talent retention among the coaches is critical. So hopefully we can do that and stay on this upward trajectory with what we've been able to do athletically and academically." Here is the full new release from Ohio State: Ohio State Names Eugene Smith Vice President Extends contract to 2020, recognizes broad leadership Columbus, Ohio – Ohio State University Interim President Joseph Alutto today announced the promotion and contract extension of Eugene Smith, naming him vice president in addition to his continuing duties as director of athletics, pending approval by the Board of Trustees later this week. The contract extends his term for an additional four years, from June 30, 2016, to June 30, 2020, and also formalizes his added responsibilities as vice president. Under terms of the agreement, Smith continues to report directly to the university president. Smith’s base salary, effective July 1, 2013, is $940,484 per year, and he is eligible for standard, university wide merit-based salary increases each year. His compensation is paid entirely through athletics department revenues, using no tuition or tax dollars. In addition to overseeing the university’s intercollegiate athletics programs, Smith now has joint oversight responsibility with the Office of Business and Finance for the Business Advancement Division of Ohio State. Business Advancement includes: the Jerome Schottenstein Center, the Blackwell Inn, Drake Union, the Fawcett Center and the Office of Trademark and Licensing Services. Smith also has responsibility for the Nationwide Arena Management agreement to increase existing revenue streams and pursue new revenue opportunities through creative collaboration and innovation. In addition, he will partner with the Office of Business and Finance for responsibility of the university’s affinity agreements. "Gene Smith is one of this country’s most accomplished collegiate athletics directors, with an exemplary record of national leadership and service,” said Alutto. “Thanks to his dedication to student success, graduation success rates of Ohio State’s student-athletes have risen by 11 percentage points, to 89 percent. His vision and commitment to excellence have made Ohio State’s Department of Athletics one of the strongest in the nation. Expanding his leadership reach to work more closely with other university functions can only strengthen us all. ” Since becoming Ohio State’s eighth athletics director in 2005, Smith’s guidance has brought national recognition in both athletics and academic achievements for its 36 fully funded varsity programs supporting more than 1,000 student-athletes yearly. Under Smith’s leadership the Buckeyes have won 10 team national championships, 60 individual national championships and eight National Players of the Year; produced 662 All-Americans, 22 Olympians, 53 Big Ten Conference team championships, 149 Big Ten Conference individual champions and 70 Big Ten Conference athletes of the year as well as 471 First-Team and 361 Second-Team All-Conference selections and numerous coaching awards. Ohio State student-athletes have participated in numerous conference championship and NCAA post-season competitions. During Smith’s tenure, the football team has participated in six BCS bowl games with two national championship game appearances. The men’s basketball team has competed in five Sweet 16 and three Elite Eight games, as well as two Final Fours. Most recently the women's rowing team captured the 2013 NCAA national championship. At the conclusion of the 2010-11 year, Ohio State’s Athletics Department placed second in the Director’s Cup, enjoying one of the most successful seasons under Smith and celebrating the highest national finish for the university with this prestigious award.
Ohio State extends contract, gives raise and promotion to athletic director Gene Smith
Cleveland Plain Dealer | Jan 29