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06 June 2017, 06:17 | Stacy Ballard
Thad Matta out as men's basketball coach at Ohio State
It culminated in a 17-15 year in 2016-17 and, since the season has ended, the Buckeyes have lost JaQuan Lyle to a transfer, Trevor Thompson to the professional ranks and saw their prized 2018 recruit, Darius Bazley, decommit.
Matta has not been the same man since his back surgery a few years ago, and clearly he is putting health and quality of life over basketball.
His first team at Ohio State followed a disappointing final season under O'Brien by winning 20 games, including a shocking last-second win over previously undefeated and top-ranked IL in the season finale. Matta has coached the Buckeyes for 13 seasons and has appeared in two Final Fours with the program. Matta said Monday, June 5, 2017, it was a "mutually agreed" decision. "It's the things that I went through a year where I couldn't walk, I couldn't take my shoes off after a game, I couldn't take my trousers off after a game". It's the flow of the conversation took to me to the reality that you know what, as I said to him, Thad, maybe it's time for us to make a leadership change. He mentioned "trying to get healthy" as a reason for leaving.
"Never say never", Matta said, per Joe Danneman of Fox19. He won 337 games with the Buckeyes. The 49-year-old Matta also took OSU to the Final Four in 2007 and 2012, falling in the championship game to Florida in '07.
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Ohio State is generally considered the favorite to land the 6-foot-6, 290-pound prospect, but he did once name Clemson his leader in the recent past.
Matta, who played at Southern Illinois and Butler, began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Indiana State in 1990. Matta is out as coach of Ohio State after 13 seasons. "He has helped me in so many ways as a player and a young man".
"I think it's the right thing for our program at the right time", Smith said.
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