Football, Top Story

Report: Steve Addazio Knew of Zach Smith’s Personal Issue When Hiring Him at Temple

According to a Boston Globe report, Boston College head football coach Steve Addazio and Director of Athletics Martin Jarmond each issued statements concerning former Ohio State wide receivers coach Zach Smith and his ex-wife, Courtney, on Saturday.

Addazio was offensive coordinator under then-Florida football head coach Urban Meyer back in 2009, when Zach Smith was arrested for aggravated battery of a pregnant victim. In that situation, Smith allegedly threw down his wife amid an argument inside their Gainesville, Fla. home. The charges were eventually dropped, and, two years later, Addazio—then the head coach of Temple—hired Smith as a wide receivers coach and special teams coordinator.

“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,” Addazio wrote, per the Globe. “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,” the sixth-year Eagles coach went on to say. “There is no place in our program at Boston College for any member of our staff involved in domestic violence.”

The release, which is not posted on BC Athletics’ official website——comes a little over 24 hours after Eagle Action reporter and former Heights editor Riley Overend asked Addazio whether he knew about Smith’s 2009 arrest when he hired him at Temple in 2011 following the first practice of the preseason. Addazio’s response was as followed:

The response was not included in an eight-plus minute video posted by the @BCFootball account on Twitter recapping Addazio’s media availability after that practice.

Meyer is currently on paid administrative leave from The Ohio State University after the school launched an investigation on Wednesday regarding Courtney Smith’s accusations that several people close to Meyer knew about a 2015 domestic violence allegation against her ex-husband—the second of the kind.

Upon his departure from Ohio State in June 2017, Jarmond held the position of deputy director of athletics and was largely considered Ohio State Director of Athletics Gene Smith’s right-hand man. At the end of his seven-year tenure in Columbus, Ohio, he served as sport administrator for several major programs, including football.

“Domestic violence is an issue we take very seriously at Boston College,” Jarmond wrote, per The Globe. “As Athletic Director, I am committed to educating and developing our student-athletes and staff with our Jesuit values, which include zero tolerance for such behavior in any form.”

As soon as independent college football reporter Brett McMurphy broke the story, which included Courtney Smith’s comments and pictures of the alleged abuse via Facebook, heads started to turn across the nation.

Zach Smith, who was fired on July 23 after reports surfaced that a protection order had been filed against him by his ex-wife, spoke to the media on Friday for the first time since being terminated. He told ESPN’s Dan Murphy that Ohio State AD Gene Smith—presumably having been contacted by the Powell Police Department—called Zach Smith while he was on a recruiting trip in late October 2015, instructing him to get on a plane and fly back to Columbus to talk to the police.

Although he worked closely with Meyer, the Globe says Jarmond played no role in the Buckeyes’ hiring of Zach Smith back in December 2011. The Heights cannot independently verify that report at this time.

“I feel it would not be appropriate for me to comment on matters involving Ohio State during their ongoing investigation,” the second-year AD said.

BC’s summer media day is August 7, followed by a return to practice on August 8. By then, there’s sure to be more information about this case, one that appears more complicated by the day.

Featured Image by Kaitlin Meeks / Heights Editor

August 4, 2018