Ex-Carlisle football coach faces possible state disciplinary investigation

A longtime area assistant football coach accused of stealing money last week has submitted his resignation from his job with Beavercreek City Schools.

Thomas “T.J” Smart submitted his resignation last week as a special education aide with the school district, according to district spokesman Ryan Gilding.

Gilding said the district is in the process of completing its report to the Ohio Department of Education’s Office of Professional Conduct for review and investigation of Smart’s education license.

Prior to his resignation, Smart was placed on paid administrative leave from Beavercreek schools following his arrest on May 21. He had worked as a special education aide for nine years.

Smart was accused of stealing about $600 in ticket sales proceeds following a May 9 girls lacrosse game from his the Beavercreek athletic director’s office.

MORE: Carlisle official: Coach’s OVI conviction ‘not a disqualifier’ in hiring

On Wednesday, the Carlisle Board of Education officially accepted Smart’s resignation for “personal reasons” as the high school’s head football coach. Smart was hired by Carlisle on Feb. 11 and was to continue working as a special education aide in Beavercreek.

The Carlisle job would have been Smart’s first head coaching position. He had been an assistant coach at several area schools, including Oakwood, Tipp City, Bethel and Beavercreek.

MORE: Carlisle football coach resigns after theft accusation, has 3 alcohol-related convictions since 2012

On May 21, a police officer escorted Smart from his Beavercreek High School classroom to the police department where he admitted to a detective that he stole the lacrosse game cash box from the school. He also admitted to taking adult and student ticket rolls and the ticket sales ledger.

Police said Smart used a master key for the high school building to gain entry to the office, to which he had access when he was a “site manager” for the district. He was no longer working in that capacity and should not have had access to it, according to the police report.

MORE: Carlisle football coach accused in theft was hired 3 months ago, stressed mentorship and character

Police recovered the ticket log from Smart’s vehicle and found the adult and student ticket rolls, both of which were used to determine how much money was taken, at his Kettering home, according to the report.

Smart was issued a summons to Fairborn Municipal Court on a charge of petty theft, a first-degree misdemeanor charge and released from custody.

MORE: High School Football: T.J. Smart Is Carlisle’s New Head Coach

Smart’s attorney entered an appearance for him on May 22 in Fairborn Municipal Court where he requested a pre-trial conference, demand for discovery and time waiver, and entered a not guilty plea. A pre-trial conference has been scheduled for 9:30 a.m. June 24.

After learning of the police investigation, Carlisle Superintendent Larry Hook placed him on administrative leave. Smart submitted his resignation as football coach for “personal reasons” on May 22.

MORE: Carlisle turns to a longtime assistant as new football coach

Hook said a replacement for Smart as Carlisle’s head football coach is “to be determined.”

Smart, a 2008 Fairmount graduate, has been convicted of three alcohol-related charges since 2012: an OVI charge in Kettering Municipal Court; a disorderly conduct/intoxication charge in Fairborn Municipal Court; and an additional OVI charge in Fairborn Municipal Court.

This report contains previous reporting by Staff Writer Richard Wilson.

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