Smith Announces Athletic Dept. Reorganization

Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith announced a reorganization plan for the athletic department on Friday. Smith made several promotions for his senior staff and shared his vision for how the department will move forward.

Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith is putting his own stamp on the OSU athletic department. Earlier this week, Smith -- who has been on the job since last April 15 -- reorganized the department and made a number of personnel moves.

Of course, Smith and other OSU officials are in Chicago this weekend as the NCAA conducts its infractions committee hearings in connection with alleged violations in the football and men's and women's basketball programs.

Below is a release from Ohio State explaining the personnel changes:

Ohio State Athletics Director Gene Smith announced a reorganization of the department earlier this week. The announcement included the promotions for three administrators to Senior Associate Athletics Director positions and the realignment of several administrative areas.

Smith announced at an all-staff meeting Tuesday the promotion of Susan Henderson, Tom Hof and Miechelle Willis to Senior Associate Athletics Director. This group with Smith will serve as the executive team for the department. They will work closely with Smith to develop the vision and goals for Ohio State Athletics. The reorganization places each unit of the department into one of three newly created divisions, Finance and Operations, External Relations, and Student Services and Sports Administration.

The promotions affirm Smith's confidence in the department's current administrative staff.

"Since my arrival in April I have been impressed with the high level of dedication, enthusiasm and talent throughout our staff," Smith said. "These changes are designed to enhance and build on the strengths of the personnel we have in place."

In Henderson's new role, she will lead the Finance and Operations division. She will continue to serve as the department's chief financial officer with oversight of business operations, human resources, information technology, equipment, golf course and ice rink. Additionally the areas of facility operations, event management, merchandise and the Jack Nicklaus Museum will fall under her supervision.

Within this area, Richelle Simonson will serve at Associate Athletics Director for Auxiliary Operations including merchandise, the golf course, ice rink and the Nicklaus Museum. She was advanced into this position to further develop these sources of revenue for the department.

Pete Hagan will be promoted from Assistant to Associate Athletics Director for Finance and oversee the business office, travel and equipment staff. Tom McGinnis will serve as Assistant Athletics Director for Administration and Human Resources, which will include supervision of the department's information technology operation.

Hof, who currently oversees the development and marketing areas of the department, will add the ticket office, athletics communications, publications, video services, cheerleading and the band to create the External Relations division.

Denny Hoobler will be promoted to Associate Athletics Director for Development & Ticketing. He will oversee annual giving, the Buckeye Club and gift processing aspects of development, as well as, the ticket office and premium seating staffs, who will be under the direction of Bill Jones. Sarah Olsavsky will assume Jones's role as Director of Premium Seating.

David Brown will assume the role of Associate Athletics Director for Marketing and will continue his oversight of the marketing and promotions areas along with cheerleading, the marching band, publications, brand management and the web site.

Willis will continue to serve as the department's senior women's administrator and oversee the Student Service & Sport Administration division. This area will include compliance, camps, strength and conditioning, medical services, and oversight of 35 of Ohio State's 36 sports. Smith will remain the administrator for the football program.

Associate Athletics Director Heather Lyke-Catalano will move into the role of a full-time sport administrator. She currently oversees five athletic programs and will add additional programs to her area. Searches will be conducting this spring for her position of Associate Athletics Director for Compliance and a newly created Assistant Athletics Director for Sport Administration.

"The goal for these changes is improve the department's planning, structural accountability, communication and overall cohesiveness," Smith commented, "Andy Geiger did an incredible job for 10-plus years and I have inherited a tremendous operation. This reorganization will help as we move forward and look towards the next 10."

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