Ohio State has named Brian Hartline interim wide receivers coach for the 2018 season, replacing Zach Smith, who was fired last week after several domestic issues came to light.
Hartline, a former Buckeyes wide receiver who played seven NFL seasons, had been serving as a quality control coach for the team, working with the receivers. The team also elevated Corey Dennis to an enhanced quality control position, where he will work with both the wide receivers and quarterbacks. Dennis, a former football player at Georgia Tech, is married to coach Urban Meyer's daughter Nicki.
"I am very confident with the individuals on this coaching staff, and both Brian and Corey are quality young men," Meyer said in a prepared statement. "I anticipate both of them doing well with their new responsibilities."
Ohio State fired Smith on Monday after reports from college football reporter Brett McMurphy surfaced detailing several incidents involving Smith and his ex-wife. Last week, an Ohio judge issued a protection order that forbids Smith from getting within 500 feet of his ex-wife. Smith, who had coached Ohio State's wide receivers since Meyer arrived after the 2011 season, also was charged in May with criminal trespassing after a dispute with his ex-wife.
McMurphy first reported a 2009 domestic incident between Smith and his ex-wife when they were still married and living in Florida, where Smith coached on Meyer's staff with the Gators. Meyer acknowledged knowing about the 2009 incident and said he and his wife, Shelley, "got involved" in trying to counsel Smith and his wife after police completed their investigation. Smith was not charged in the 2009 incident.
Police in Powell, Ohio, also investigated two domestic incidents involving Smith and his wife in the fall of 2015, although no charges appear to have been filed in either instance.
Hartline, 31, played at Ohio State from 2005 to 2008, recording 90 catches for 1,429 yards and 12 touchdowns, and helping the Buckeyes reach consecutive BCS national championship games. A fourth-round draft pick of the Miami Dolphins in 2009, he started 73 games and appeared in 104 contests in the NFL, recording 344 career receptions for 4,766 yards and 14 touchdowns.