View Full Version : OT: Thad Matta to coach OSU

07-07-2004, 06:57 PM

Source: Matta accepts OSU job

By Dustin Dow
The Cincinnati Enquirer

COLUMBUS - Xavier basketball coach Thad Matta was offered and has accepted the Ohio State job, according to a source, who said Matta took the job Wednesday. As of 5:50 p.m., he had not informed Xavier athletic director Dawn Rogers of his decision.

Matta was expected to meet with his assistant coaches Wednesday night in Cincinnati. Xavier players had not been informed of any decision by early evening.

Matta had told the Enquirer just over a week ago: "I'm not a candidate. It's that plain and that simple."

However, he arrived at Ohio State at 7:15 a.m. Wednesday and spent two and a half hours with athletic director Andy Geiger and the advisory committee at the Schottenstein Center.

At 9:30 a.m., an unidentified driver returned in a blue Chrysler Pacifica to the arena loading dock. Minutes later, members of the advisory committee emerged and left in their own vehicles. Matta and Geiger came out of the Schottenstein Center at 9:45 and immediately left in the Pacifica for the suburban home of OSU President Karen Holbrook.

More than a half-dozen media vehicles followed in pursuit in the 15-minute drive. Some lost track of the car en route to Holbrook's house.

Navigating streets and expressways of Columbus, the Pacifica tried on multiple occasions to mislead reporters by feigning attempts to exit freeways only to continue going straight at the last second.

Upon arriving at Holbrook's house, the Pacifica pulled into the driveway, which led to the rear of the house. Reporters and TV crews followed behind on foot. The Pacifica then tried to back out of the drive, only to quickly return and park about 20 feet from the backdoor to Holbrook's house.

Matta was sitting in the back seat of the car when an unidentified member of the OSU staff opened his door and told him, "Just get inside the house," as reporters stood by.

When Matta exited the car, a reporter asked if he had been offered the OSU job. He did not answer, and with his head down, walked swiftly through the door that was held open for him.

Matta left Holbrook's house around 10:55 a.m. - after meeting there for less than an hour - and headed for a private airport.

Xavier's top candidate to replace Matta will be associate head coach Sean Miller, who has been at XU for the last three years under Matta and spent five years as an assistant at North Carolina State before that. Miller has been a college coach for 12 years and was an All Big-East point guard at Pittsburgh from 1988 to 1992.

When Matta first arrived at Ohio State at 7:15 a.m. Wednesday, the car entered an arena loading dock, located about 25 feet below an area where a reporter and a television news crew stood waiting. The car was unable to enter a secure garage because semi trucks preparing for a concert blocked the doors. Forced to exit the car outside of the garage, Matta and Geiger were clearly visible to reporters as they quickly made their way into the arena through a pedestrian door. Wearing a suit, Matta, 36, briefly turned toward a TV camera upon exiting the passenger door.

Shortly before 8 a.m. three members of Geiger's advisory committee to select a coach, Clark Kellogg, Bill Hoskett and Rick Smith, entered Schottenstein to meet with Matta and Geiger.

"He understands the importance of hiring good coaches," Kellogg said of Geiger before entering the arena. "He's got a proven track record of being on target in his selections."

Geiger fired Jim O'Brien June 8 for admitting to paying a player $6,000 in 1999.

07-07-2004, 09:03 PM
Hmph, didn't know about Clark helping with the selection. Very good move by OSU. Is whathisname (the guy he replaced at Butler) still at Nebraska?
I like shooting guards that can shoot.

07-08-2004, 12:32 AM
Good hire by OSU.

07-08-2004, 06:15 PM
Hmph, didn't know about Clark helping with the selection. Very good move by OSU. Is whathisname (the guy he replaced at Butler) still at Nebraska?
Barry Collier is still at Nebraska, which apparently is an improving program, albeit slowly. OSU made an excellent choice for their next head coach. Xavier continues to be a jumping-off point for coaches looking to move to the power conferences.

07-08-2004, 09:28 PM
Thad Matta.

Now that's a name.