Zach Smith arrest: 911 calls reveal former Ohio State assistant arrived hours early to pick up children

Joey Kaufman
Zach Smith, former Ohio State assistant football coach arrested on charges he violated protection order May 9, 2019. [Delaware County Sheriff]

Former Ohio State assistant football coach Zach Smith, who was arrested Thursday for a violation of a civil protection order, had arrived more than three hours early to pick up his children from school, according to 911 calls released Friday by the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office.

Smith entered Scioto Ridge Elementary School in Powell at approximately 3 p.m. Thursday, shortly before police were contacted.

In a 911 call with a police dispatcher, his ex-wife, Courtney Smith said, “He came up behind me. He tried to get into the school before I did.”

Courtney Smith was granted a three-year protection order last October after alleging a series of domestic violence incidents. Zach Smith was fired as Ohio State’s receivers coach in July before preseason training camp. He first joined the Buckeyes’ coaching staff under then-head coach Urban Meyer in 2012.

Zach Smith was released from the Delaware County Jail on Friday.

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A guidance counselor from Scioto Ridge told police Thursday that the court-issued protection order prevented Zach Smith from picking up his children until later in the evening.

“The agreement that we have from court says he’s not allowed to have them until 6:45,” the counselor said on a 911 call. “So we are technically not allowed to release them to him, but he’s very insistent with our principal right now.”

Zach and Courtney Smith were separated by the principal after he arrived at the school.

While Zach Smith remained with the principal until his arrest, Courtney Smith stayed in a separate office while contacting police.

“I can hear him yelling over there at the principal,” she told police. “It’s horrible.”

“Screaming at her,” she added. Courtney Smith did not report any physical violence.

Tracy Whited, a spokeswoman for the Delaware County Sheriff's Office, described Zach Smith as “confrontational” with school staff.

Zach Smith remained in police custody Friday morning, according to online jail records.

At his arraignment Friday, he pleaded not guilty to violating the civil protection order, a misdemeanor, court records showed, and was scheduled to return to court June 5.