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Thursday, December 22, 2011
Meyer adds Bruce's grandson as WR coach

By Brian Bennett

Another day, another addition to Urban Meyer's Ohio State staff.

The Buckeyes announced that Zach Smith will serve as receivers coach in Year One under Meyer. It's a reunion of the two, as Smith spent five years as a graduate assistant and quality control coach for Meyer at Florida, from 2005-09. Smith then went on to Marshall in 2010 and worked as receivers and special teams coach this season at Temple under former Meyer assistant Steve Addazio.

“Zach Smith has already coached with me for five seasons, and so I know what a quality coach he is,” Meyer said. “He knows my system inside and out and he teaches the system the way I want it to be taught. He has coached and taught some great players already, like Percy Harvin, Aaron Hernandez and Louis Murphy.”

And it's a homecoming for Smith, who was born and raised in Columbus. How's this for a connection to the program: he is the grandson of former Ohio State coach Earle Bruce.

“It is really, really a dream come true,” Smith said. “I grew up watching Ohio State, my grandfather coached here and I always dreamt of doing it, too.

“Plus I have an opportunity to work with Coach Meyer again. I was able to spend five years on his staff at Florida, and now working with him again is another dream come true for me. It’s like two dreams coming true. I’m really excited, and it is wonderful to be back home.”

Smith's grandmother, Jean Bruce, died last Friday, the day before Temple won the New Mexico Bowl. Her funeral was Wednesday.

“My coming home has added another element to everything that has gone on this week,” Smith said. “My grandma would be very proud of me. I feel honored to come back and work at this university where both she and my grandfather’s hearts have always been and I grew up loving.”

Smith is the seventh assistant Meyer has officially hired since being named head coach late last month.