Zach Smith denies hitting ex-wife; says firing Urban Meyer would be ‘flat wrong’

One-on-one Interview: Zach Smith
Zach Smith breaks his silence

Former Ohio State assistant football Zach Smith sat down with 10TV to discuss his termination from Ohio State over the domestic abuse allegations involving his ex-wife Courtney Smith.

Zach said there were several altercations in their marriage where things got physical.

He said there was a handful of times he had to restrain her and move her out of the way, so he could get out of the situation before it escalated.

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"I know for a fact that I never committed domestic violence against her,” he said

Smith said he was on the road recruiting in October 2015 when he received a call from the Ohio State University athletic director Gene Smith.

Gene asked him to fly back to Ohio because of domestic abuse accusations made by his wife in Powell.

Zach met with Powell police about the allegations and then went to practice.

Smith said Meyer pulled him off the practice field and asked him what was going on.

Smith said he laid it all out to Meyer and explained he met with Powell police and told them he never hit his wife.

"He looked at me dead in the eye and said, 'I'm telling you right now, if you hit her, you're fired immediately,’” Smith said. “And I said ‘coach, I already know that. I’ve known that since I started with you in 2005. If I did hit her, I wouldn’t even come to work.”

Zach said police came back and said no charges were going to be filed.

When asked if he thought Meyer and Gene did all they could to investigate the allegations, Zach said he thinks they handled it perfectly.

"Because they found out about it, they immediately pulled me off the road, went to the police station and they empowered the people that are actually paid professionals to find out what happened. And they wanted to find out what reality was before they made a rash decision."

He added that Urban handled everything as he should.

"I don't if he did anything wrong at all at any time, even with the comments at Big Ten Media Day," Zach said. "There was referenced a 2015 felonious assault arrest of domestic violence that didn't happen. I didn't get arrested for anything...I took it was Urban saying 'he got arrested of a felony in 2015? I never heard of that.'"

When asked about the pictures showing the alleged abuse in Brett McMurphy’s story, Smith said he didn't know what day or where those came from.

"It was a toxic relationship. It was not a functional relationship," he said. "It maybe needed to never happen and definitely needed to end."

Zach said the situation has taken a major toll on him but is more concerned about his kids.

"It's not fair to them," he said. "For us to be doing interviews and in the public over situations that occurred between a husband and wife that didn't need to be public."

When asked why Courtney took this issue public, he said he has no idea.

"I have several things over the course of our marriage that I could put out public ally and try to do the same thing. My opinion all along has been don't say anything don't do anything because it only hurts the kids. But I felt the need to speak today because the situation has gotten out of hand."

When asked about his firing, Zach said he didn’t believe he deserved to lose his job, but he believes the reason he was fired is because of media attention.

"That pressure surmounted so much so that the decision had to be made for the good of Ohio State and the players," he said. "I don't believe it was a just firing. I get it. I understand it...but I don't believe I did anything wrong to deserve it."

In the interview with 105.7 The Zone, Zach was asked to explain the issue with the criminal trespass incident in May.

He said back in the fall, police contacted him to say Courtney reported seeing his truck at her home. He told police he doesn’t go near her home.

In May, Zach said he had his son with him and needed to get him back to Courtney. He said he contacted her saying he didn’t have time to go to a neutral place or meet someone, but she told him he can’t come to her home. He adds she told him to meet her at the clubhouse to her apartment complex.

Zach said he was at the clubhouse but Courtney was not there and continued to her place. He said when he arrived, Courtney was waiting outside to take a photo of his truck pulling up.

In a separate interview with ESPN, Zach said he'd be 'heartbroken' if Meyer lost his job.

"If he loses his job, it would be flat wrong...And that is the guy who fired me," he said.