COLUMBUS, Ohio — Thad Matta’s time at Ohio State has come to an end.
At a news conference Monday afternoon, Ohio State announced Matta will no longer be the coach of the program that he’s led for the last 13 seasons.
Ohio State basketball declined in the number of wins in each of the last six seasons. The Buckeyes won 34 games in 2010-11, then followed with win totals of 31, 29, 25, 24 and 21 before notching just 17 victories in the 2016-17 campaign.
The Buckeyes failed to make the NCAA Tournament the last two seasons, and didn’t even secure an NIT bid this season.
In March, Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith released a statement supporting Matta:
“Recently, Thad and I had a great discussion regarding the future of our Men’s Basketball Program. Thad’s record at Ohio State is an outstanding 337-122; a winning percentage of .734. He is the all-time wins leader and owns the record for most games coached at Ohio State. His teams have won five Big Ten titles, and made nine NCAA postseason appearances. What Thad’s teams at Ohio State have accomplished – both on and off the court – is highly commendable.
“While we are not currently where we aspire to be with our performance on the court, Thad understands better than anyone that component has to improve. I am confident in his leadership to return the program to the winning ways that we have all enjoyed during his 13 year tenure.
“We have had tremendous success with Thad as our basketball coach. His commitment to developing young men in a holistic way and running our program with the highest of integrity continue to be hallmarks of his leadership.”
Later that day, Ohio State lost to Rutgers in the Big Ten Tournament in what became the final game of a disappointing season.
Matta led Ohio State to incredible heights, including two Final Fours and a national championship game appearance. He is the winningest coach in program history, and last season was the first time his teams failed to win 20 games in a season.
In recent years, he had been plagued by health problems stemming from a back surgery despite not yet turning 50.