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#pounditSaturday, May 25, 2024

Thad Matta abruptly leaves Ohio State, does not rule out coaching again

Thad Matta beard

Hours after it was reported that Ohio State basketball coach Thad Matta would coach one more season and retire, the school announced that Matta was out as coach, effective immediately.

The school announced in a release that Matta was leaving effective immediately. At a press conference, athletic director Gene Smith called the decision “mutual,” saying Matta would be heavily involved in the search for his successor.

When asked if he was done coaching, Matta did not sound like a man who was retiring. He notably refused to say he wouldn’t coach again, instead responding “never say never” and affirming that his focus was on his health. A source indicated to ESPN’s Jeff Goodman that Matta did not want to stop coaching.

When asked about the timing of the change, Smith cited Matta’s struggles to land top recruits due to speculation about his future, with the decision being reached within the last week. Matta said he agreed with Smith’s assessment that a coaching change would be beneficial when the subject came up.

The timing is extremely strange, and indications are that this was not necessarily Matta’s idea. The original report on Matta’s future made a lot of sense, but it’s quite late for a major college coaching search at this juncture.

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