Men's basketball: Thad Matta out as Ohio State coach

Tricia Pearson
June 6, 2017

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.

"This has been the greatest 13 years of my life", Matta said through tears at a press conference on Monday.

Thad Matta's tenure as the Ohio State men's basketball coach came to an abrupt end on Monday afternoon. Athletic director Gene Smith and The Ohio State University provided a attractive blueprint. of what not to do when relieving a longtime coach of his responsibilities.

Ohio State's 247Sports' site, Bucknuts, is now reporting that Matta will be stepping down after the 2017-18 season.

He has been troubled by back pain following surgery complications and walks with a limp.

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Matta said during the press conference he hasn't ruled out coaching again, but that he wants to get healthy. He is the school's career leader in wins and games. He won five Big Ten regular-season titles and four Big Ten tournament titles.

"While this may be a surprise to many, it's the right thing for our program at this time", Smith said. He took the Buckeyes to nine NCAA tournaments, including six trips to the Sweet 16, three to the Elite Eight, two to the Final Four. "Lately it's occurred to me what a long, odd trip it's been, '" Matta said. In the Big Ten Tournament, Ohio State lost in the first round to Rutgers, the lowest-seeded team.

Leaving the Buckeyes, Matta said he hopes that people remember him not for the coach and for the accomplishments he led OSU to, but instead he hopes to be remembered for the person he was and for coaching "the right way". The Buckeyes last missed the Big Dance two years in a row during a three-year absence from 2003-05. "And during that conversation, it became apparent to me, that we probably needed to facilitate a change", Smith said.

Ohio State will now move on and try to find a quality replacement for Matta.

"I'm going to do my best to fine the right person that fits the Ohio State University", Smith said.

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