After 13 seasons at Ohio State, Thad Matta is unexpectedly out as the Buckeyes’ head coach. There was speculation that today’s press conference would be an announcement that the upcoming season would be Matta’s last. However, citing ongoing health issues as one of the main reasons, Matta clarified that he would be resigning effective immediately.
According to athletic director Gene Smith, the university will honor the remaining three years on Matta’s contract. The coach had a 337-123 overall record at OSU and took the team to two Final Fours, including an NCAA Runner-up finish in 2007. In addition to on the court success, Matta has had ten players drafted into the NBA since taking over in 2004. That group includes Greg Oden, Mike Conley, D’Angelo Russell and National POY Evan Turner, among others.
The search to replace Matta will begin immediately. Some names that will surely be thrown around include Cincinnati’s Mick Cronin, Butler’s Chris Holtmann, Xavier’s Chris Mack and former Indiana & Marquette head coach Tom Crean. Wichita State’s Gregg Marshall always gets attention with power conference openings, but the Shockers recently made the jump to the AAC.
The Ohio State job is one of the better positions in the sport and the timing of this announcement will surely send shockwaves through the college basketball world. It seemed that the coaching carousel had come to a stop for the offseason, but if any current head coach makes the jump for Columbus we could see a whole new round of coaching changes.