Thad Matta Exits As Ohio State Basketball Coach

Thad Matta Exits As Ohio State Basketball Coach

Thad Matta Exits As Ohio State Basketball Coach

After an early morning email about a press conference involving Matta and athletic director Gene Smith prompted reports that Matta would coach the 2017-18 season, the two jointly announced that the legendary coach would be stepping down immediately.

Crean, fired in March after nine seasons as IU head coach, remains a free agent at the moment, though on a recent episode of podcast Pardon My Take, he hinted that he might be taking a television job next year.

Matta, 49, said his health - a bad back from a botched 2007 surgery that has made it hard for him to even remove his shoes or walk after games - has taken a toll. He mentioned "trying to get healthy" as a reason for leaving. He's young (41), midwestern (from Lafayette, Indiana, and played and coached in the midwest), and he's built a strong program at Illinois State over the last five years, guiding the Redbirds to a 28-7 record and an NIT bid last season.

Ultimately, Matta said he was "perfectly fine with" Smith's decision.

Smith said that Matta will help the school in the selection of his replacement.

Matta, a Hoopeston native, coached Ohio State for 13 seasons and leaves as the program's all-time leader in wins (337) and games coached (460) in Ohio State history.

"We've dealt with some major negativity in terms of recruitment, my future, all of those things", Matta said.

Smith said the Buckeyes will conduct a national search for their next coach. Speculation swirled, as it likely meant the end of the Thad Matta era while at Ohio State.

If I were Ohio State, I'd want these coaches, too. "I think the last thing I want to be remembered for is we always did it the right way". As for coaching again, he said: "Never say never". The best recruits of the 2017 class are signed. An. Other possibilities could include coaches throughout OH, including Mick Cronin of Cincinnati and Chris Mack of Xavier.

But the Buckeyes hit a rough patch the past two seasons. "That this program was run the right way".

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