The Columbus Crew named Jim Smith its new general manager Jan. 25, replacing Jamey Rootes. Smith spent the past four years as an associate athletic director at Ohio State University. He began at
OSU in January 1996 as director of marketing and promotions and moved on to director of marketing and communications in March 1998. "We are thrilled to be able to attract an individual of Jim's
quality with an outstanding background in sales, corporate marketing, advertising and administration," said Clark Hunt, speaking on behalf of Hunt Sports Group, the CrewÆs operator-investor. "The
organization believes Jim's close ties to the Columbus business community will continue to solidify the Crew's position as the No. 1 professional sports brand in Central Ohio." Smith was selected
from a group of more than 35 candidates which was narrowed down to eight finalists. Rootes, the teamÆs first general manager, leaves in February to join the NFLÆs expansion team in Houston. Prior
to OSU, Smith worked as an event director for the World Wrestling Federation and as a arena director at Sam Houston State University in Texas.