Thad Matta out as basketball coach at Ohio State
- Author: Regina Holmes Jun 06, 2017,
Jun 06, 2017, 6:20
Matta and Ohio State Athletics Director Gene Smith will hold a news conference at 2 pm eastern today, where it is widely expected that That Matta will announce that he is retiring after the upcoming college basketball season.
Matta previously underwent back surgery that left him without a fully-functioning right foot and back complications.
Since the end of the 2012-13 season, Matta's program has been on a steady decline since a streak of four consecutive Sweet 16 appearances from 2010 to 2013 and two Final Four appearances in a six-year span. OSU won just one NCAA Tournament game in the past four seasons and failed to make the tournament the last two years. It was one of the worst kept secrets in college basketball circles that Archie Miller, the new in head coach and former Dayton head man, wanted the Buckeye job, and by waiting until June 5th to part ways with Matta - instead of, say, in mid-March, when he issued Matta a vote of confidence - Smith cost himself a shot at Archie. He coaches a plodding but efficient offense and will come up in big-name coaching searches for as long as he remains at Butler. "I don't know. I just felt as if I was to de-commit, actually take my time, figure everything out it would just be a lot better".
Matta said during the press conference he hasn't ruled out coaching again, but that he wants to get healthy. If no one is willing to leave their current gig, Ohio State could have no choice but to take the embattled former IN head coach who has made it very clear he wants to coach again.
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Matta won 337 games with the Buckeyes and has a 439-154 overall coaching record at Ohio State, Xavier and Butler. That might be enough to keep it from happening, to say nothing of the fact that Ohio State and IN are Big Ten rivals, but Crean is probably the best coach now out of work. His teams also made seven Big Ten Tournament title game appearances and helped coach 10 National Basketball Association draft picks.
When asked if he was finished coaching, Matta said, "Never say never". Prior to his arrival at IN he made three straight NCAA tournaments at Marquette, then took over an NCAA sanction ravaged program and returned them into a two-time Big Ten champ.
"I think it's the right thing for our program at the right time", Smith said. "He has helped me in so many ways as a player and a young man".