Thad Matta out as Ohio State basketball coach

But if the Buckeyes do opt to go with an interim coach, Jent is the guy that would be expected to earn the chance to audition his way into the job a la Greg Gard at Wisconsin.

"This has probably been the greatest 13 years of my life", said Matta, his voice breaking as he quoted lyrics from the Grateful Dead. "Others time I can barely see. Lately it occurs to me what a long, unusual trip it's been".

He put an emphasis on long before fighting back tears shortly afterward. Matta also won five regular-season Big Ten titles and four league tournament crowns, the most championships of any league coach over the last 13 seasons.

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The former head coach of The University of Akron recently took over the Duquesne program in Pittsburgh, but a potential buyout clause in his contract would not be hard for Ohio State's athletic department to absorb if they chose to go with a coach familiar with recruiting talents in and around Ohio.

It's rooted in a familiar place, however, and it offers a clue as to where the Buckeyes might be headed next.

It was time for a change. Ohio State lost to Florida in the 2007 National Championship.

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Since the 2010-11 season, the Buckeyes have been earning fewer and fewer wins.

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

If the Buckeyes want a coach familiar with the program, perhaps they look at Stony Brook bench boss Jeff Boals, who served as an assistant under Matta from 2009 to 2016. While coaching at Xavier, Matta led the team to three NCAA Tournament appearances consecutively, according to ESPN. "I am confident in his leadership to return the program to the winning ways that we have all enjoyed during his 13-year tenure". Matta was up against that while trying, in his words, to "be serviceable" from a physical standpoint. In fact, this week marks the start of summer classes for a lot of players. The Buckeyes also reached the Final Four in 2012.

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