Thad Matta’s Ohio State basketball tenure ends with emotional press conference

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Reaction to the end of the head coach tenure of Thad Matta at Ohio State

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Ohio State announced Monday afternoon the tenure of men’s basketball coach Thad Matta is over after 13 years.

“While this may be a surprise to many, I think it’s the right thing for our program at this time,” director of athletics Gene Smith said.

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Smith came to that conclusion during a conversation between the two men Friday.

Asked what changed since the end of a regular season in which the Buckeyes went 17-15, Smith said, “We weren’t winning recruiting battles I thought we might have a chance to win, as he did.”

PHOTOS: Thad Matta through the years at Ohio State

An emotional Matta appeared with Smith at a press conference Monday in Columbus and said he agreed with the decision.

“I want what’s best for the program and if it’s not me being here, I respect it,” Matta said.

Smith said the final three years of Matta’s contract will be honored.

According to the I-Team Payroll Project, Matta was paid $3,386,880 last year, making him the school's second highest-paid employee behind football coach Urban Meyer ($4,612,510).

Matta is Ohio State’s all-time winningest coach, but the program has been in decline over the past few seasons, including a two-year NCAA tournament drought.

He has taken the Buckeyes to two Final Fours and won five Big Ten regular season championships.

Matta received a vote of confidence from Smith in March before the Buckeyes lost their season finale to Rutgers in the Big Ten tournament.

Smith said a national search will be conducted to find Matta’s replacement.

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