Zach Smith


Zach Smith | Wide Receivers/Recruiting Coordinator

Zach Smith and Devin Smith
Zach Smith and Devin Smith
At Ohio State

Zach Smith, now in his fifth season as wide receivers coach at Ohio State and with the additional responsibility of staff recruiting coordinator, is quickly establishing himself as a fine young football coach and an outstanding recruiter.

Instrumental in the recruitment and signings of many key Buckeyes the past five years, including players such as Noah Brown (Flanders, N.J.), Johnny Dixon (West Palm Beach, Fla.), Jalyn Holmes (Norfolk, Va.) and Torrence Gibson (Plantation, Fla.), Smith has received numerous accolades for these efforts, including being named the 2016 Big Ten recruiter of the year, a 2015 and 2016 Rivals “top recruiter” and the 2014 Big Ten recruiter of the year by both Rivals and Scout.

While Smith has proven adept at getting the talent to Ohio State, he has also been equally successful at teaching that talent to go play and to play well. Consider:

  • In each of the past three seasons he has had three receivers earn all-Big Ten Conference accolades: Michael Thomas, Braxton Miller and Jalin Marshall in 2015, Thomas, Evan Spencer and Devin Smith in 2014, and Smith and Corey “Philly” Brown in 2013.
  • His wide receiver unit has produced three team captains: Brown, Spencer and Miller.
  • He’s had a receiver – Smith – lead the nation in yards per catch (28.2 in 2015).
  • His top receiver the past two years – Thomas – has had consecutive seasons of over 50 receptions and 700 receiving yards.

The Ohio State receivers are reaching the NFL as well. Corey Brown has started for two seasons with the Carolina Panthers while Devin Smith was a second-round draft pick of the New York Jets and Evan Spencer spent most of the 2015 season with Washington before moving on to Tampa Bay.

Those NFL numbers doubled after the 2016 NFL Draft as three more Ohio State receivers are on their way to the league: Michael Thomas was a second-round draft pick of the New Orleans Saints, Braxton Miller was a third-round pick by Houston and Jalin Marshall signed a free agent contract with the New York Jets.

Career Path

Smith was hired by Urban Meyer in early 2012 after he previously had assisted under former Meyer assistants Doc Holliday and Steve Addazio. Smith worked for Holliday at Marshall and for Addazio, who is now at Boston College, at Temple. He coached the positions of wide receivers and special teams at each stop.

“I know what a quality coach Zach is,” Meyer said. “He knows my system inside and out and he teaches the system the way I want it to be taught.”

Smith spent five years as a graduate assistant and quality control assistant for Meyer at Florida, during which time Florida won a pair of national championships while producing some of the best offensive and special teams units in the country. Smith was a special teams quality control coach for three years (2005-07) and an offensive graduate assistant for the 2008 and 2009 seasons. He assisted with coaching the UF wide receivers, including Percy Harvin and Louis Murphy, quarterbacks and special teams during his time in Gainesville.

Smith left Florida to work on Holliday’s staff at Marshall for the 2010 season. He then moved on to Temple when Steve Addazio took over in 2011.

Marshall’s receivers totaled 152 catches for 1,824 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2010 and featured all-Conference USA performer Aaron Dobson. Temple’s receivers managed 66 catches for 961 yards and eight touchdowns despite the Owls featuring the seventh-best rushing offense in the country and the top unit in the Mid-American Conference.

Additionally, Temple’s special teams ranked first in the MAC in kickoff returns and second in net punting and punt returns. Those units also ranked fourth, 14th and 23rd nationally. Temple won nine games during Smith’s season, including its first bowl win (37-15 over Wyoming in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl) in 32 years.

Personal File

Smith, the grandson of former Ohio State head coach Earle Bruce, attended Dublin Coffman High School. He is a 2007 graduate of the University of Florida with a degree in sports management. He has a young son, Cameron, and a daughter, Quinn Olivia.

Coaching Assignments and Quick Facts

2015-pres.Wide Receivers / Recruiting Coord.Ohio State
2012-2014Wide ReceiversOhio State
2011Wide Receivers/Special TeamsTemple
2010Wide ReceiversMarshall
2008-09Graduate AssistantFlorida
2005-07Quality ControlFlorida

Zach Smith Quick Facts
Hometown: Dublin, Ohio
High School: Dublin Coffman
Alma Mater: University of Florida, 2007
Years in Coaching: 12th (Fifth year at Ohio State)
Children: Son, Cameron and daughter, Quinn Olivia.


Zach Smith Stories