Thad Matta out as basketball coach at Ohio State

"Thad and I at the end of this season, had a sit-down meeting and talked about the goals and objectives that I felt we needed and he felt we needed in order to get our program back to where he built it". "Besides wins and losses, he (Matta) has set a standard with culture and how we do things the right way".

Smith said Ohio State will pay the remaining three years on Matta's contract, with details to be determined. "Just looking around here and seeing all these things that the guys have been able to accomplish has been awesome".

Matta is the all-time Ohio State leader in wins (337) and games coached (460).

The report added that it's "unclear when Smith may announce a successor for Matta".

Smith also said that the recruiting this year, namely the poor results OSU had, are a major reason behind the move. "I am confident in his leadership to return the program to the winning ways that we have all enjoyed during his 13-year tenure". "Then we started talking about the process".

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Matta said his chronic pain wore on him through the years and his focus now is on getting healthy. "That's all I am concerned about", Matta said. "I don't think anyone can truly understand what this job, coaching, does to you". "It's the things that I went through a year where I couldn't walk, I couldn't take my shoes off after a game, I couldn't take my trousers off after a game".

Matta, who has coached the team for 13 seasons, also cited his health at a news conference Monday. The Buckeyes were the best program in the Big Ten early in Matta's tenure, highlighted by the freshmen group of Greg Oden, Mike Conley and Daequan Cook that led the Buckeyes to the NCAA Tournament championship game in 2007. He won five Big Ten regular-season titles, four league tourney championships and advanced to the Final Four in 2007 and 2012, the former ending the national final. As for coaching again, he said: "Never say never".

"If you wanted an exact thought of where my emotions are, there's a great song that says, 'Sometimes the light shines brightly on me, other times I can barely see".

"I'm going to do my best to fine the right person that fits the Ohio State University", Smith said.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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