Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee’s announcement that he will retire this summer sent shockwaves throughout the university.
The president of Ohio State since 2007, Gee’s position came into question after comments made about Notre Dame and the SEC during a Dec. 5 OSU Athletic Council meeting were recently made public and criticized.
The Buckeye athletic community also reacted with shock at the news of Gee’s retirement, but also gratitude for the things he brought to OSU.
Ohio State Associate Vice President and Director of Athletics Gene Smith appreciates the impact that Gee has had on education and athletics at the university and across the country.
“I want to thank Gordon for what he has done for me as a person and for his contributions to higher education and in particular to The Ohio State University,” Smith said in a statement. “I am appreciative for all his contributions as a president to intercollegiate athletics on a national level. I wish he and his family all the best.”
The comments made back in December were not the first time Gee found himself in hot water when discussing college football.
During the height of the OSU football tattoo scandal, in 2011, when then coach Jim Tressel’s job was being called into question, Gee said in a press conference “Let me just be very clear: I’m just hopeful the coach doesn’t dismiss me.”
Urban Meyer, OSU’s current football coach, released a statement praising Gee and his leadership at Ohio State during Meyer’s time in Columbus.
“It is hard to put into words the respect and love I have for President Gee,” Meyer said in the statement. “His leadership brought me home to this great university and to this great state of Ohio. I will always be grateful to him for that. He has been a wonderful advocate for collegiate athletics and for The Ohio State University. It has been an honor to work for him. I wish him the best as he moves into retirement.”
Fresh off a Big Ten Championship and an Elite Eight appearance, the Ohio State men’s basketball team coach Thad Matta is thankful for the things that Gee has done to help build the basketball program and Matta personally.
“Dr. Gee has done so much for me personally and as a coach,” Matta said in a statement. “He has always gone above and beyond the call of duty to help build our program. I have never met a person who loves this university more than Dr. Gee.”
Gee’s retirement will take effect beginning on July 1 with Executive Vice President and Provost Joseph Alutto serving as the interim president for the university.