Brian Hartline

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Ohio State releases contract details for interim coach Brian Hartline


Even as Urban Meyer‘s future as Ohio State’s head coach is decidedly up in the airat least for a couple of weeks — the business of football in Columbus marches on.

After Zach Smith was unceremoniously dumped as Ohio State’s wide receivers coach last month amidst domestic abuse allegations, Brian Hartline was announced as the interim replacement at that positional group.  Hartline, a former OSU wide receiver, is entering his second year with his alma mater after spending the 2017 season as a quality control assistant who worked with receivers.

Monday, the university released the financial particulars of Hartline’s contract.  From the Columbus Dispatch:

Brian Hartline is contracted to make $105,000 as interim receivers coach for Ohio State this season, according to information released by the school to The Dispatch on Monday.

Hartline’s interim contract runs through Dec. 31. It includes the customary $600 per month automobile stipend for full-time assistant, plus six tickets to each OSU home football game.

At $300,000, Smith was the lowest-paid of Meyer’s OSU assistant coaches last season, even as he was the longest-tenured.  Smith was set to make $340,000 this season.

Hartline replaces Smith, who was dismissed earlier this week amidst a May arrest that ultimately led to allegations of domestic abuse.  This marks the 31-year-old Hartline’s first-ever on-field coaching job at any level.

Ohio State names replacement for WRs coach booted amid domestic abuse allegations

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As expected, Urban Meyer looked within his own football program for his next assistant.

Thursday morning, Ohio State announced that Brian Hartline has been named as the Buckeyes’ interim wide receivers coach.  Hartline, a former OSU receiver, is entering his second year with his alma mater after spending the 2017 season as a quality control assistant who worked with receivers.

In concert with Hartline’s promotion, the program also announced that graduate assistant Corey Dennis has been elevated to a senior quality control position working with the wide receivers and quarterbacks.

“As I said in Chicago [during Big Ten Media Days], I am very confident with the individuals on this coaching staff and both Brian and Corey are quality young men,” Meyer said in a statement. “I anticipate both of them doing well with their new responsibilities.”

Hartline will replace Zach Smith, who was dismissed earlier this week amidst a May arrest that ultimately led to allegations of domestic abuse.  This will mark the 31-year-old Hartline’s first-ever on-field coaching job at any level.

Urban Meyer: Firing of Zach Smith ‘very tough call,’ in best interests of team

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Urban Meyer was only half in the dark when it came to the off-field issues that led to the firing of one of his assistants, the Ohio State head coach stated Tuesday.

A day earlier, Meyer had announced that Zach Smith had been dismissed as the Buckeyes wide receivers coach.  The move came on the same day that two new reports of alleged domestic abuse, one from 2009 and another from 2015, surfaced.  It was also confirmed that Smith’s ex-wife, involved in the two previous incidents, had obtained a domestic violence civil protection order against Smith in connection to a May incident in which the coach was cited for criminal trespassing.

Meyer confirmed he was aware of the 2009 incident, which occurred when Smith was a member of Meyer’s football staff at Florida.  In that incident, it was alleged Smith picked up his then-pregnant-wife, Courtney Smith, by her t-shirt “and threw her against the bedroom wall located upstairs in their apartment.” Another incident involving alleged domestic abuse, this one from 2015 when Smith was an assistant at OSU, came to light as well, although Meyer stated he was unaware of that one.

In fact, Meyer claimed that he has found no evidence that an incident actually occurred in 2015.  That said, Meyer told the assembled media that he “is not going to get into” the whys and the timing of the dismissal.

According to, Meyer, in front of a small group of reporters prior to appearing at the podium during the Big Ten Media Days this morning, labeled the firing of Smith a “very tough call” made in the best interests of the team.

“The most important people in our program are our players,” Meyer said. “We’re very clear of our expectations. We decided to make a change.”

It’s expected that, at least on an interim basis, former OSU wide receiver Brian Hartline will assume Smith’s on-field coaching duties.  Meyer stated that a final decision on a replacement will likely be made toward the end of the week.

Former Ohio State WR Brian Hartline deletes tweet about appearing at OSU practice, an NCAA violation

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Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer said he was intrigued by the idea of using former players to mimic opposing players in practices after word got out Nick Saban was doing so down in Alabama. It seems Meyer did the research and tried to give it a shot himself by using former Ohio State wide receiver Brian Hartline on the scout team.

Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins took to Twitter to offer his compliments to the hard work ethic brought to the practice field by the former Buckeye and NFL wide receiver.

Hartline, who played with the Miami Dolphins from 2009 through 2014 and the Cleveland Browns in 2015, responded. The tweet, however, was deleted (but here’s a screen shot that was grabbed before the tweet vanished).

Brian Hartline tweet

The tweet was likely deleted because it is an NCAA violation to promote the appearance beforehand of any former player participating in a practice. This may not be something the NCAA takes a hard look at from an investigative standpoint. If they did, it would result in nothing more than a slap on the wrist or a finger wag at best.

Clemson was using former quarterback Tajh Boyd to mimic Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett last week.