Ohio State’s Athletic Director Gene Smith won a leadership award on Friday per Spencer Holbrook of On3Sports. He has been in this role with the Buckeyes for 17 years now.

Smith received the David Williams II Leadership Award. The award goes to an AD that personifies leadership, vision, service, and dedication in intercollegiate athletics. It’s named after former Ohio State AD David Williams II, who had the role from 1986-2000. Williams passed away in 2019.

Here’s what Smith had to say about receiving the award per an Ohio State press release:

“I feel so honored and privileged to have the opportunity to receive this award in David’s name,” Smith said. “He was a trailblazer. We’re both very different in where we came from, but we shared one passion and that was the student-athletes that all of us in this room serve. We cannot forget the ecosystem we serve: it’s those young people that we’re blessed to serve every day. We need to help them understand that they have a chance in our society to be leaders.”

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