Ohio State fired Robert Gary as coach of the men’s track and field and cross-country teams last month because of irregular financial reporting, according to public records obtained yesterday by The Dispatch.
The records show that university police are still conducting a criminal investigation of Gary, which stems from a separate investigation that the athletic department initiated during the 2012 winter quarter to look into his expense accounts.
Ohio State acknowledged in an April 11 letter to Gary’s attorney, Spencer Youell, that the university had accepted a check for $6,235.35 from Gary without his admission of any wrongful conduct or activities but that the “criminal investigation is ongoing and independent of this employment matter.”
Gary, a two-time Olympian, was fired effective April 6, according to a letter sent to him the previous day from athletic director Gene Smith. Gary had been cross-country coach since 1996 and was in his sixth season as men’s track coach after nine years as an assistant.
Smith could not be reached for comment yesterday, but university spokesman Dan Wallenberg said in a statement: “The university terminated its men’s track coach after it discovered financial reporting irregularities. The Department of Athletics immediately placed the coach on leave when it discovered these major violations of policy, and later determined that termination was appropriate. University police are still investigating the matter and therefore it would be inappropriate to comment further in light of this ongoing investigation.”
Gary has declined interview requests since telling The Dispatch in an April 19 email that he left Ohio State “for personal and family reasons.”
Furman, a Southern Conference member in Greenville, S.C., introduced Gary as its new track and field and cross-country coach — as well as the hiring of his wife, Rita, as assistant coach — on April 18.