Thad Matta stepping down at Ohio State after 13 years
Jun 06, 2017, 06:16
"I felt confident after the season once Thad and I sat down we had a good plan going into the summer", Smith said.
Over the last 10 years, Matta's health has impacted coaching and recruiting.
"This has been probably the greatest 13 years of my life", Matta said. Since taking over in Columbus beginning in 2004-05, he has led the Buckeyes to nine NCAA Tournaments, five Sweet Sixteens, three Elite 8s, two Final Fours and one national championship game appearance.
Smith will start an immediate search for Matta's successor.
Matta also suffered from injuries during his time with the Buckeyes.
"We weren't winning the battles in recruiting that I thought we might have a chance to win, as he did", Smith said. "We mutually agreed to do this". His first head coaching job was at Butler in 2000.
Matta said his chronic pain wore on him through the years and his focus now is on getting healthy.
I'll throw it to my colleague Matt Brown, who wondered in March about who would replace Matta whenever he left town. "I mean, I don't think anybody can truly comprehend what this job - coaching - does to you". "Couldn't take my shoes off after a game".
I personally am a huge Thad Matta fan, and will be curious to see if he returns to coaching after some much needed rest and recuperation.
"I went through a year where I couldn't walk", the 49-year-old said, via Nicole Auerbach of USA Today.
The Jesuit University in Cincinnati is the school that Ohio State went to when they brought in Matta following the 2002 season, and could very well be a destination again should the Buckeyes make another trip down Interstate 71 in their search. Five Big Ten titles is also a solid accomplishment, but the Buckeyes last did that under Matta with a first place tie in 2011-12.
"Never say never", Matta said when asked if he's done coaching.
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