06 June, 2017
On Monday afternoon, in a hastily called together press conference, Thad Matta and his athletic director, Gene Smith, announced that they had come an agreement that the former would no longer be the head coach at Ohio State. He first went through an emergency back surgery during his early days with the Buckeyes and also suffered from nerve damage in his foot and wears a brace to help support him.
Matta's Musketeers won 26 games in each of his three seasons and advanced in the NCAA tournament all three years he was in Cincinnati.
NCAAFormer Ohio State basketball coach Thad Matta talks to his assistants during a 2016 game. 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 couldn't take my shoes off after a game, my trousers off after a game". "As we started talking about it Friday, the flow of the conversation took me to the realization as I said to him, 'This might be the time to make a leadership change, ' and he agreed". "My whole focus now is trying to get healthy".
Matta coached the Buckeyes to two Final Fours while he was there from 2005 to 2017. A national search for Matta's replacement will begin immediately.
Matta won 337 games with the Buckeyes and has a 439-154 overall coaching record at Ohio State, Xavier and Butler.
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"Sometimes the lights all shining on me", Matta said.
Among coaches with at least 10 years on the job in the Big Ten, Matta ranks No. 3 all-time in winning percentage: Bo Ryan (.733), Bob Knight (.734), Matta (.733) and Tom Izzo (.712).
At first it appears fans were still giving Matta and the team a chance to turn things around, with attendance holding steady for the first three years of the slide.