Ohio State coach Thad Matta and Ivan Harris chat during practice for the first Final Four game of Matta's career in 2007. Matta also took the Buckeyes to the 2012 Final Four. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
The winningest basketball coach in Ohio State history is out of a job.
In a surprise announcement Monday, Matta was out as the Buckeyes' coach in what he called a “mutually agreed” decision.
The move came about three months after the end of Matta’s worst season of his head coaching career. He’s also been dealing with back pain and has been walking with a limp following surgery complications.
Here’s a look back at Matta's career. He's been on the bench as either a head coach or assistant since 1990.
Matta was promoted from assistant to head coach at Butler, his alma mater, in 2000 after Barry Collier took the Nebraska job. In his only season leading the Bulldogs, he guided them to a 24-8 record, a Midwestern Collegiate Conference (now the Horizon League) tournament title and a spot in the NCAA Tournament.
Matta jumped to Xavier to replace Skip Prosser after he was hired by Wake Forest, and continued to build on Prosser’s success. Matta’s three Xavier teams each won exactly 26 games, and he reached the NCAA Tournament all three years while winning two Atlantic-10 Tournament titles for a final record there of 78-23.
OHIO STATE (2004-17)
Matta moved up Interstate 71 to take over for the fired Jim O’Brien in the wake of an NCAA scandal. His resume includes nine NCAA Tournaments, Final Fours in 2007 and 2012, nine Big Ten championships (five in the regular season, four tournaments), and set school records with 337 victories and 460 games coached. His .773 winning percentage is the school’s best in the past century. Among his players were NBA lottery picks Greg Oden, Mike Conley Jr., Evan Turner and D’Angelo Russell. But last season _ his first as a head coach in which his team failed to win at least 20 games _ was a rough one: The Buckeyes (17-15) didn’t make either the NCAA Tournament or the NIT.
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