Thad Matta out as basketball coach at Ohio State

Thad Matta won five regular-season Big Ten titles and four league tournament crowns in his time at OSU
Joe Maiorana | USA TODAY Sports Images Thad Matta won five regular-season Big Ten titles and four league tournament crowns in his time at OSU
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06 June, 2017

Hours after it was reported that Ohio State basketball coach Thad Matta would coach one more season and retire, the school announced that Matta was out as coach, effective immediately.

Matta reportedly wanted to keep coaching the Buckeyes, but athletic director Gene Smith said a change was needed after discussing the situation with the coach.

Last season was the only time he failed to reach 20 wins in his career.

Matta took over as Ohio State's coach in 2004, and has won five Big Ten regular season titles, four Big Ten tournament championships, and played in two NCAA Championship games. Ohio State has struggled over the last few years, but few expected Matta would be considering stepping down.

"Never say never", Matta said, per Joe Danneman of Fox19.

The tearful coach called the experience the "greatest 13 years" of his life. He's also just 47 years old and one of the nation's best coaches, and there is always going to be speculation that he's looking to move on to bigger and better things.

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Those plans changed Friday during a follow-up meeting.

For now, Matta will go stay home in Columbus and help with the search for a replacement.

"We weren't winning the battles in recruiting that I thought we might have a chance to win, as he did", Smith said.

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.

Maybe he'll get back into coaching, but for now he'll focus on remembering that long, unusual trip took him - to the place his family calls home in Columbus. The Hoopeston, Illinois native won five Big Ten Championships with Buckeyes and made Final Four appearances in 2007 and 2012. In the Big Ten Tournament, Ohio State lost to Rutgers, the lowest-seeded team.

"My whole focus right now is trying to get health, that's all I am concerned about", Matta said. "That this program was run the right way".


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