Ohio State announced on Monday that Thad Matta will no longer be the school’s basketball coach.
“While this may be a surprise to many, it’s the right thing for our program at this time,” said OSU athletic director Gene Smith, who cited poor recruiting this offseason as his motivation for approaching Matta last Friday about making a change.
Gene Smith and Thad Matta address the media about Thad Matta’s departure from the Ohio State men’s basketball program.
Matta, Ohio State’s coach since 2004, has led his teams to five Big Ten regular-season titles, four Big Ten Tournament titles and two Final Fours twice — first in 2007 with Greg Oden and Mike Conley, then again in 2012 with Jared Sullinger and Aaron Craft. Prior to the last 13 seasons in Columbus where his overall record was 337-123, he coached at Butler for one season and at Xavier for three. He made the NCAA Tournament in 13 of the first 14 seasons he was eligible but missed it each of the past two.
Matta has been struggling with back and health issues in recent years, and when asked if he’d still be OSU’s coach if not for his health struggles, he answered, “Yeah, probably.”
Xavier’s Chris Mack, Butler’s Chris Holtmann, Wichita State’s Gregg Marshall and Oklahoma City Thunder coach Billy Donovan have been mentioned among the top candidates for the job.