Thad Matta Out As Ohio State Head Basketball Coach

Smith said that he initially suggested the head coaching change, while both Smith and Matta said that they mutually agreed that it's the best option moving forward. Athletic director Gene Smith said a conversation between him and Matta led to the determination that a change was needed.

Matta, who has been at Ohio State for 13 seasons, has won 337 games with the Buckeyes.

Ohio State's 7-11 Big Ten mark last season was the program's first sub-.500 league finish since a 6-10 record in 2003-04 under O'Brien.

Matta's health problems, including past back surgeries, have appeared to play a role in the recent downturn. The campaign also spelled the first time the program failed to make the NCAA Tournament in consecutive years since Matta arrived to Columbus prior to the 2004-05 season. Matta is the school's career leader in wins and games.

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"If you wanted an exact thought of where my emotions are, there's a great song that says, 'Sometimes the light shines brightly on me, other times I can barely see".

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Thad Matta is out as Ohio State's basketball coach, with the Buckeyes having missed the last two NCAA Tournaments amid an exodus of players.

Matta coached at Xavier and Butler, and was an assistant at Miami and Western Carolina. "Lately it's occurred to me what a long, odd trip it's been, '" Matta said. "Recruiting is a major part of it, and we weren't winning the recruiting battles", Smith said. The Buckeyes limped to the end of this season, and then star guard JaQuan Lyle left the team without public explanation.

Ohio State is considered one of the best coaching jobs in not only the Big Ten, but nationally as well. "Besides wins and losses, he (Matta) has set a standard with culture and how we do things the right way". "And that to me is something I'm going to hang my hat on, that this program was run the right way".

  • Tabitha Byrd