Ohio State Fires Wide Receivers Coach Zach Smith Following Reported Domestic Violence Allegations

By Dan Hope on July 23, 2018 at 6:56 pm
Zach Smith coaching during the 2017 season.

The last remaining assistant on Urban Meyer's original Ohio State coaching staff is a coach for the Buckeyes no more.

Zach Smith, who was going into his seventh season as Ohio State's wide receivers coach, was fired on Monday, the university announced in a statement.

Smith's departure comes after his ex-wife, Courtney Carano Smith, filed a domestic violence protection order against him with Delaware (Ohio) Police on Friday. That came two days after he appeared in Delaware Municipal Court on a charge of criminal trespassing, to which he has pleaded not guilty.

According to a police report obtained by Eleven Warriors, Zach Smith was arrested and charged with felony assault in 2009, when he was an assistant coach at the University of Florida, after an altercation with his then-wife, who was three months pregnant at the time. Smith was handcuffed and arrested without incident, but Courtney declined to file charges at the scene.

Powell Police were also dispatched to Zach and Courtney’s home on Oct. 26, 2015 after Courtney reported "that a domestic incident happened last night at her home and that she has been a victim of sustained physical abuse by the suspect."

Smith had been Ohio State's wide receivers coach since 2012, Meyer's first season in Columbus. Smith had also been the Buckeyes' recruiting coordinator since 2015.

Smith is the first assistant coach that Meyer has ever officially fired in his head coaching career.

Brad Koffel, Smith's attorney, wrote in a statement on Twitter that "OSU was put in a corner by the unfounded accusations of an ex-wife who weaponized 9-1-1 many times over the years. Many ex-husbands know exactly what is going on here as well as every single police officer that ever responded to their home."

Before joining the Buckeyes, Smith was previously the wide receivers coach and special teams coordinator at Temple in 2011 and the wide receivers coach at Marshall in 2010. He previously worked for Meyer at Florida as a quality control coach from 2005-07 and as a graduate assistant in 2008 and 2009.

Smith is the grandson of former Ohio State coach Earle Bruce, who died in April at the age of 87.

According to Ohio State's statement, coaching staff adjustments will be announced at a later date.

The Buckeyes now have a vacancy for a wide receivers coach just days before they are set to begin preseason camp. A potential in-house candidate to fill that vacancy, however, is former Ohio State wide receiver Brian Hartline, who joined the Buckeyes last year as a quality control coach.

Whoever fills that opening is likely to receive plenty of help from Meyer, whose own background is in coaching wide receivers, and offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Ryan Day, who was already set to play a more active role in assisting to coach wide receivers this season.

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