Thad Matta out as basketball coach at Ohio State

The Buckeyes announced Monday that head coach Thad Matta would not return to OSU, effective immediately.

"I went through a year where I couldn't walk", Matta said.

After 13 seasons Ohio State and Thad Matta are parting ways. Last year's team missed the NCAA tournament after finishing 17-15.

Matta, a Hoopeston native, coached Ohio State for 13 seasons and leaves as the program's all-time leader in wins (337) and games coached (460) in Ohio State history. Seeing Matta well up at his farewell press conference Monday, it was clear he didn't want out.

Ultimately, one of the major deciding factors in the coaching change came down to the health of the former head coach. "I don't know. I just felt as if I was to de-commit, actually take my time, figure everything out it would just be a lot better".

Matta mentioned "trying to get healthy" as one reason for leaving the job. He took the Ohio State job after head coach Jim O'Brien was sacked in the summer of 2004.

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"Thad has agreed to help in the search", Smith said. Also, Ohio State isn't an immediate Big Ten contender.

Matta's other head coaching positions were at Xavier and Butler, and he was an assistant at Miami and Western Carolina.

Matta says it's been the "greatest 13 years of his life". Memphis defeated Ohio State 81-76 in overtime.

Six of his eight first-round picks played from 2007-10, and Franklin High School star Luke Kennard is just one of several OH prep stars to find success elsewhere over the past few seasons as the Buckeyes' win totals declined. "We weren't winning the battles in recruiting that I thought we might have change to win as he did".

"I've always told people this, the easiest recruiting I ever had here was two guys named Greg Oden and Mike Conley because they didn't want to be recruited".


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