As the Ohio State men’s basketball team approaches what could very well be its second straight postseason on the outside looking in at the NCAA Tournament, the Buckeyes program appears to be at a crossroads of sorts. But according to one report Monday night, head coach Thad Matta isn’t going anywhere.
Citing sources, Yahoo.com’s Pat Forde reported Matta will be back on the Buckeyes’ sideline for the 2017-18 season — which would be his 14th as Ohio State’s head coach. According to Forde: “There had been speculation that health issues might persuade him to step down.”
Forde also added: “A well-connected industry insider said flatly Monday night that the Ohio State job ‘is not going to open.'”
Matta has dealt with back issues since a botched surgery in 2007.
The all-time winningest coach in Buckeyes’ basketball history, Matta has seen his team struggle over the course of the past two seasons. Ohio State compiled a 21-14 overall record last season, losing in the second round of the NIT. This season, the Buckeyes enter the Big Ten Tournament with a 17-14 record with a 7-11 mark in conference play.
Without a deep run in Washington D.C. this week, Ohio State will likely once again miss out on the ‘Big Dance.’ The 11-seed Buckeyes open their Big Ten Tournament against 14-seed Rutgers on Wednesday night. They would need to win five games in five days to win the tournament.
That, however, won’t affect Matta’s status or immediate job security, per Forde’s report. Under his watch, the Buckeyes have recorded a 337–122 overall record in 13 seasons, winning five Big Ten regular season championships, four conference tournament championships and making two Final Fours (2007, 2012).
From 2006-15, Ohio State missed the NCAA Tournament just once. As of Monday night, it appears Matta will get at least one more year to get his program back on track.