Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith is retiring at the end of the 2023-24 academic year, he announced Wednesday morning.

Smith, who has led the Buckeyes’ athletic department since March 2005, will step down effective June 30, 2024.

University president Kristina Johnson announced in November that she would be stepping down at the conclusion of the 2022-23 academic year, and the university is still searching for her replacement.

Smith, the eighth AD for Ohio State and the third-longest-serving AD in school history, wanted to step aside before a permanent president was chosen so they would have the runway to put their blueprint on the department.

Smith has been at the forefront of the Big Ten’s expansion efforts over the past year, which culminated Friday with the news that Oregon and Washington would also join USC and UCLA in the Big Ten next fall.

Smith said Fox “brought new money to the table” for Oregon and Washington and that the figures inside the media rights deal with Fox, CBS and NBC “stayed the same” for the schools already in the conference.

Under Smith’s stewardship, the Buckeyes have won 32 team and 117 individual national championships as well as 115 team and 369 individual titles within the Big Ten.

Smith, a Cleveland native who played college football at Notre Dame, previously served as an athletic director at Arizona State (2000-05), Iowa State (1993-2000) and Eastern Michigan (1985-93).