D1Vision

Thad Matta Era Ends at Ohio State after 13 Seasons

THAD MATTA

Ohio State athletic Director Gene Smith announced Monday that Thad Matta will no longer be the head basketball coach for the Buckeyes, effective immediately.

“Thad and I, at the end of the season, had a sit down meeting to talk about the goals and objectives we felt we needed to get our program back to where he built it,” OSU Athletic Director Gene Smith stated in a presser. “During that conversation, it became apparent to me that we probably needed to facilitate a change. Thad and I talked about that and came to a mutual understanding it was time for a leadership change in our men’s basketball program.”

“While this might be a surprise to many, I think it’s the right thing for our program at the right time,” Smith continued. “We will go about our business of doing a national search.”

Asked if he was finished with coaching, Matta stated, “You know, I’m going to give you the standard answer. Never say never. My whole focus right now is to try and get healthy.”

The timing of the decision is odd. Ohio State’s 2017 recruiting class just reported to campus and the July recruiting period is around the corner.

“It’s like I said, I felt confident after the season once Thad and I sat down,” Gene Smith stated. “We had a good plan going into the Summer. Recruiting is a major part of it, of that plan. We weren’t winning the battles in recruiting, that I thought we might have a chance to win, as he did.”

“So as we started talking about that on Friday, which was three-months or so after that meeting” Smith continued. “The flow of the conversation took me to the reality that you know what, as I said to him, maybe it’s time for us to make a leadership change and he agreed.”

Recruitment is key to any program. Eventually, that is what led to the change. Asked if he agreed with that, Matta stated.

“Absolutely. I think strictly from the standpoint, as Gene and I talked,” Matta said. “We’ve dealt with some major negativity in terms of recruitment and my future, all those things. I’ve got three coaches in there I’ve never seen work harder this Spring. We are battling some things we couldn’t overcome.”

Matta ran the program for the last 13 seasons, finishing with a 337-123 (.733) record. he led OSU to two Final Fours (2007, 2012) and three Elite Eight Appearances. The Buckeyes made the NCAA Tournament every year under Matta with the exception of the 2007-08 season and the 2016-17 season.

The Buckeyes 2017 class consist of four-star big Kaleb Wesson and three-star point guard Braxton Beverly. A class that is currently on campus. The 2018 class consists of two recruits, Dane Goodwin and Justin Ahrens.

 

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