Ohio State fires wide receivers coach after wife files domestic violence protection order

Paul Myerberg
Ohio State Buckeyes wide receivers coach Zach. 
Cal Sport Media | AP Images

Ohio State has fired wide receivers coach Zach Smith, coach Urban Meyer said Monday, three days after Smith’s wife filed a domestic violence protection order against the Buckeyes’ former assistant.

The order of protection came two days after Smith appeared in court on a charge of criminal trespassing, to which Smith has pleaded not guilty.

According to the charge, which stemmed from a May incident, police were called to a home belonging to Smith’s ex-wife after Smith dropped off their son at the residence. There was no forced entry and Smith was not suspected of using drugs or alcohol, according to the police report.

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On Monday, however, multiple stories were published detailing a history of domestic abuse allegations against Smith, who has been the Buckeyes’ receivers coach since 2012.

In 2009, when a graduate assistant at Florida, Smith was arrested and charged with felony assault following an altercation with his then-pregnant wife. His then-wife declined to file charges.

In 2015, police who responded to a call at the Smith residence were told by Smith’s wife “that a domestic incident happened last night at her home and that she has been a victim of sustained physical abuse by the suspect,” according to a report obtained by the Ohio State site

Smith has been connected to Meyer since 2007, when he worked as a quality-control assistant when Meyer was the head coach at Florida. He remained with the football program through 2009 before spending one season at both Marshall and Temple, both times coaching the receivers. Before Monday, Smith was the lone original assistant remaining from Meyer’s first Ohio State team in 2012.

Smith is also tied to Meyer through his grandfather, the late Ohio State coach Earle Bruce. Meyer began his coaching career as an assistant under Bruce at Ohio State in 1986.