Butler coach Cris Holtmann has emerged as the front-runner to replace Thad Matta at Ohio State. The Bulldogs have reached the NCAA Tournament in each of 45-year-old Holtmann’s three seasons. Creighton’s Greg McDermott met with Ohio State Wednesday, but decided to remain in Omaha. Xavier’s Chris Mack and the Chicago Bulls’ Fred Hoiberg also made statements announcing their intentions to stay at their current jobs.
The Ohio State University announced yesterday that Thad Matta will no longer be the men’s basketball coach, effective immediately. Athletic director Gene Smith said that a change was needed. Matta had been with Ohio State for 13 seasons with a record of 337-123. Ohio State struggled the past two seasons, failing to advance to the NCAA tournament. Smith said the Buckeyes will conduct a national search for their next coach. He also said Ohio State will honor the remaining three years on Matta’s contract.
Ohio State coach Thad Matta was not pleased by speculation about his future that prompted the school’s AD, to proclaim his support for the most successful men’s basketball coach in school history. The loss to Rutgers left Ohio State (17-15) and out of the NCAA tournament for the second straight year.