Zach Smith, the Ohio State receivers coach who was fired last month after being charged with violating a protective order issued for his ex-wife, Courtney, was wide-receivers coach at Temple in 2011 under then-coach Steve Addazio.
Smith was an assistant to head coach Urban Meyer at the University of Florida in 2009 when he was arrested on suspicion of aggravated battery against his pregnant wife. Colleges that hired Smith have been asked whether they knew about that alleged incident. (The charge was dropped for insufficient evidence.)
None of Temple’s athletic administrators involved in the hiring are still at the school. Bill Bradshaw, who was the athletic director when Smith was hired, is La Salle’s athletic director. He said, “Nothing came up about him.”
Temple released this statement on Monday: “Neither Director of Athletics Dr. Patrick Kraft [n]or head football coach Geoff Collins were at Temple University seven years ago in 2011 when Zach Smith was an assistant coach on the football staff. The university conducted a background check prior to Smith’s hiring which did not uncover anything regarding the reported incident in 2009. Smith left the university following the 2011 season to take a position at Ohio State University.”
Addazio was the offensive coordinator at Florida in 2009 and took over the Temple head spot in December 2010. Now the head coach at Boston College, he said in a statement: “While an assistant coach at Florida in 2009, I was aware that there was an issue in the personal life of Zach and Courtney Smith. I did not know specifics, and I knew the matter was in the hands of university personnel and that the couple was involved in counseling. As a husband, father and coach, I have zero tolerance for domestic abuse. There is no place in our program at Boston College for any member of our staff involved in domestic violence.”
Before coming to Temple, Smith was receivers coach at Marshall for one season. Marshall issued this statement:
“Marshall Athletics administration and head football coach Doc Holliday were not made aware of the 2009 allegation facing Mr. Smith. The University’s standard background check, prior to his January 2010 hire here, yielded no information concerning the incident. Mr. Smith left the Thundering Herd in January 2011 to join the coaching staff at Temple University after one year at Marshall.”
On Wednesday, Ohio State placed Meyer on paid administrative leave while it investigates reports that he knew about the 2015 domestic-abuse allegations of Smith. Ryan Day, a former assistant at Temple and with the Eagles, was named interim head coach.
At Big Ten media day last month, Meyer said he had no knowledge of those allegations. Meyer later said he had known about the incidents and had reported them to the proper authorities. He also admitted to mishandling the questions on media day.
Ohio State said it expected to complete its investigation of Meyer in 14 days.