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

The head football coach at Carlisle High School resigned Wednesday after he was accused of stealing money from his full-time employer, Beavercreek Local Schools.

Thomas Joel Smart, 29, also has been convicted three times of alcohol-related offenses including operating a vehicle while intoxicated since June 2012, police and court records show.

Smart, hired in February to lead Carlisle’s football program, is charged with stealing about $600 in ticket sales proceeds from a May 9 Beavercreek girls lacrosse game, according to a Beavercreek police report.

Smart is on paid administrative leave from Beavercreek schools, where he works as a special education paraprofessional at the high school. He submitted his letter of resignation as Carlisle’s head football coach late Wednesday morning. 

Carlisle Superintendent Larry Hook said Smart cited “personal reasons” in his resignation.

Smart has worked as a special needs assistant in Beavercreek schools for nine years, according to Beavercreek district spokesman Ryan Gilding.

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Gilding said the district is investigating the allegations, which have “nothing to do with our students, their welfare or their safety.”

“We hold our employees to the highest standard of professional conduct. It is expected of them, our community expects that and so does our district,” Gilding said.

On Tuesday, a police officer escorted Smart from his Beavercreek High School classroom to the police department, where Smart admitted to a detective that he stole the lacrosse game cash box from the athletic director’s office. He also admitted to taking adult and student ticket rolls and the ticket sales ledger, according to the report.

 

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

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.

Police issued Smart a summons to Fairborn Municipal Court on a first-degree misdemeanor charge of theft. Smart was released from custody and is scheduled to appear Tuesday for an arraignment.

Carlisle superintendent Larry Hook said he was informed of the Beavercreek police investigation concerning Smart around 4 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.

Gilding said he could not comment at this time on whether there had ever been any previous disciplinary issues with

Smart was arrested in June 2012 and later convicted of operating a vehicle while intoxicated, according to Kettering Municipal Court records. His license was suspended for 180 days, and he was sentenced to two years of unsupervised probation, according to the court records.

Fairborn Municipal Court records show Smart pleaded guilty and paid a fine after being charged in April 2015 with disorderly conduct by intoxication. According to the Fairborn police report, an officer found Smart sleeping in his vehicle parked at Taco Bell, 3218 Dayton Xenia Road. Smart smelled of alcohol, and there was an open bottle of Reds Apple Ale in his vehicle, according to the report.

In a separate traffic violation the following month, the highway patrol charged Smart with operating a vehicle while intoxicated. A trooper spotted Smart driving 70 mph in a 50 mph zone on Research Boulevard. During the traffic stop, Smart failed the field sobriety test and later failed a breath test, which showed he had a .173 blood-alcohol content, according to the report.

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Court records show Smart pleaded guilty to the OVI charge. A judge sentenced him to 18 days of house arrest with driving privileges granted for coaching and teaching.

Smart was released from the court-ordered community control in May 2016, according to court records.

Hook said the district did a background check on Smart and was aware of one OVI charge from Smart’s past during the interview process, but he said “that is not a disqualifier.” 

He said there was a discussion during Smart’s interview about the OVI issue and officials “told him that can’t happen here.” 

“We’re not condoning it, but we felt like he made a mistake,” Hook said. “It’s one thing to be ‘young and dumb’ but it’s another thing when you’re the head football coach.”

Prior to being tapped for the Carlisle heading coaching job, Smart worked as an assistant coach for several area schools, including Oakwood, Tipp City Bethel and Beavercreek.

Smart could not be reached for comment for this story.

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