Marshall, Holliday ‘not made aware’ of Smith domestic violence issues prior to 2010 hire

HUNTINGTON — The Marshall University athletics department told MetroNews Thursday a background check of former Thundering Herd assistant football coach Zach Smith “yielded no information” concerning a 2009 domestic violence incident in Florida in which Smith was arrested for allegedly shoving his pregnant wife against a wall.

Smith is at the center of a controversy that led Ohio State to placing football coach Urban Meyer on paid administrative leave. OSU officials are investigating what Meyer knew about a 2015 domestic violent incident between Smith and his ex-wife Courtney.

Meyer fired Smith on July 23 after he allegedly violated a parenting plan with his ex-wife.

Zach Smith was an intern at Florida in 2009 where Meyer was the head coach. Holliday coached under Meyer at Florida from 2005-2007. After a two-year return to WVU on Bill Stewart’s staff, Holliday was named head coach at Marshall on Dec.17, 2009. Smith was a member of Holliday’s first staff. Smith stayed one year and then took a job at Temple. Smith was hired by Meyer at Ohio State in 2012.

Marshall associate athletics director Aaron Goebbel issued a statement to MetroNews Thursday:

“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.”

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