'Iconic' Ohio State president steps down after joking about 'damn Catholics' at Notre Dame

Ohio State President Gordon Gee is being praised as a leader who reshaped the university after he was rehired in 2007 following an earlier stint as president in the 1990s.

University trustee chairman Robert Schottenstein says Gee, who announced his sudden retirement Tuesday, has a unique style that helped transform Ohio State.

The 69-year-old Gee says the furor over his remarks jabbing Roman Catholics and Notre Dame first reported by The Associated Press last week were only part of his decision to step down July 1.

He also cited his age and the start of a long-term planning process at the university.

Gee says he has regrets about some things he's said but not about having a sense of humor and enjoying life.