COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Ohio State University says Thad Matta will no longer be the head men’s basketball coach.
Matta coached the Buckeyes to two Final Fours while he was there from 2005 to 2017. Ohio State finished 21-14 this year.
Matta has been troubled by back pain following surgery complications and walks with a limp. He mentioned “trying to get healthy” as a reason for leaving the job.
Gene Smith, Ohio State senior vice president and Wolfe Foundation endowed athletics director, said he did not ask Matta to coach one more year, but he says Matta’s contract will be honored. Smith also pointed out not winning recruiting battles when asked why the move was made now instead of at the end of Matta’s contract.
A national search for the next Ohio State head coach will begin immediately. Matta has agreed to help in the coaching search for his replacement, saying that he wants to see Ohio State win a national championship.
Matta says it’s been the “greatest 13 years of his life.” Asked if he’s done coaching, Thad says “never say never,” adding he wants to focus on his health first and foremost.