59 minutes | Sep 7th 2020

Gene Smith: Focus On Yourself First

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Senior VP and Athletic Director for The Ohio State University, Gene Smith, talked with host Michael Redd about his passion for helping student-athletes thrive, his journey from Eastern Michigan to Ohio State, and why it’s OK to be selfish sometimes.

“Self-awareness is critical. Then you have to make sure you pay attention to your teammates. You’re not going through that challenge alone, so you need your teammates to be the best they can be… but it starts with me.” – Gene Smith

Named “one of the most powerful people in collegiate sport,” Gene is in his 13th year at The Ohio State University and has also served as a director of athletics at Arizona State, Iowa State, and Eastern Michigan universities.

The former college football standout and Notre Dame alum grew up in Cleveland. After getting his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Notre Dame in 1977, he joined Notre Dame’s “Fighting Irish” coaching staff.

“The 1977 Notre Dame team captured the undisputed national championship. Smith has the unique distinction of winning national championships in football as a student-athlete, coach, and athletics director.”

A leader in his profession, Gene has garnered countless awards, chaired multiple NCAA committees, and “... oversees the nation’s most comprehensive and one of its most successful collegiate athletic programs.”

Note: Please pardon the sounds of Gene stirring his coffee throughout :-)

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In this episode Michael and Gene talked about:

  • How he found a career in coaching and athletics
  • The importance of focusing on your self first to serve others well
  • How he inspires student-athletes to be their best
  • The importance of developing your interpersonal skills
  • His philosophical focus on the “total student-athlete”
  • His journey and transformation as a “leader of leaders” in 2020
  • And on making sacrifices in face of adversity

To ask a question, read the transcript, or learn more, visit MichaelRedd.com.


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