Thad Matta out as basketball coach at Ohio State

Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

The Ohio State Buckeyes parted ways with long-time head basketball coach Thad Matta this afternoon in a surprise move. Matta said he's had multiple back surgeries since he was 15 years old which hurt his ability to keep up with the rigors of coaching. It marked the first season the program failed to win 20 games under Matta and snapped a streak of 11 straight consecutive postseason tournament appearance for OSU, a run including nine NCAA Tournaments and two NITs.

Matta, a Hoopeston native, coached Ohio State for 13 seasons and leaves as the program's all-time leader in wins (337) and games coached (460) in Ohio State history. "Damn, we've had some good ones", Matta said during his farewell press conference. He was Butler's head coach in 2000. "I couldn't take my shoes off after a game, I couldn't take my trousers off after a game". "My whole focus now is trying to get healthy".

Ohio State has reached two Final Fours under Matta (2006 and 2012).

FILE - In this February 14, 2017, file photo, Ohio State coach Thad Matta reacts during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Michigan State, in East Lansing, Mich. Matta is out as coach of Ohio State after 13 seasons.

Athletic director Gene Smith said a conversation between him and Matta led to the determination that a change was needed. His teams also made seven Big Ten Tournament title game appearances and helped coach 10 National Basketball Association draft picks. In 2004, he was hired as the 13th men's basketball coach at Ohio State. Nothing but love and respect for Coach Matta!

"Ohio State, they didn't make the NCAA Tournament this year", Bazley said at the time. "We weren't winning the battles in recruiting that I thought we might have change to win as he did".

Although I didn't play for Thad, he embraced me to the fullest.

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