Thad Matta: Wikis

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Thad Matta
Thad Matta
Title Head coach
College Ohio State
Sport Basketball
Team record 154–53 (.744)
Born July 11, 1967 (1967-07-11) (age 42)
Place of birth Hoopeston, Illinois, USA
Career highlights
Overall 256–84 (.753)
Championships
NIT Championship (2008)
Big Ten Tournament Championship (2007, 2010)
Big Ten Regular Season Championship (2006, 2007, 2010)
Atlantic 10 Tournament Championship (2002, 2004)
Atlantic 10 Regular Season Championship (2002, 2003)
Horizon League Tournament Championship (2001)
Horizon League Regular Season Championship (2001)
Awards
Horizon League Coach of the Year (2001)
A-10 Coach of the Year (2002)
Big Ten Coach of the Year (2006, 2010)
Playing career
1985–1986
1987–1990
Southern Illinois
Butler
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1990–1991
1991–1994
1994–1995
1995–1996
1996–1997
1997–2000
2000–2001
2001–2004
2004–
Indiana State (asst.)
Butler (asst.)
Miami (OH) (asst.)
Western Carolina (asst.)
Miami (OH) (asst.)
Butler (asst.)
Butler
Xavier
Ohio State

Thad Matta (born July 11, 1967 in Hoopeston, Illinois) is an American college basketball coach. He is the current head coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes men's basketball team. He was hired as the 13th head coach in Ohio State history on July 7, 2004 after the school had fired previous coach Jim O'Brien. He is one of just two coaches nationally to post 20 or more wins in each of his first ten seasons as a head coach. Matta has led the Buckeyes to three Big Ten Conference regular season championships, the 2007 and 2010 Big Ten Conference Men's Basketball Tournament titles, a runner up finish in the 2007 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament and the 2008 NIT Championship. Matta also tied the record for most wins by a first-year coach at Ohio State (20).

Contents

Playing career

A basketball standout for the Cornjerkers at Hoopeston-East Lynn High School in Hoopeston, Matta was a two-year starter for the Butler University Bulldogs in three seasons after transferring from Southern Illinois University as a sophomore. He led Butler in assists (100) and three-point field goal percentage (.433) in 1987–88 and in free-throw percentage in 1988-89 (.872). He served as a team co-captain (one of three Butler tri-captains that year on Barry Collier's first team in 1989–90 and finished his career in sixth place on Butler's all-time list for free-throw percentage (.800). He earned a B.S. degree from Butler in 1990. Matta enjoyed his Butler career-high point total of 21 points against Xavier University at the Cincinnati Gardens March 2, 1989.

Early coaching years

In total, Matta spent six seasons as a full-time assistant coach at three different universities, helping his squads compile a composite 128–58 (.688) record and make six postseason tournament appearances. He was on the bench in five-consecutive conference tournament championship games and won four league tournament championship rings. He was in the NCAA tournament five times as an assistant under four different head coaches and in the postseason National Invitation Tournament once.

Matta began his coaching career at Indiana State University as a graduate assistant under head coach Tates Locke in 1990–91. Matta served as an academic coordinator and administrative assistant at Butler (1991–94) before moving into the full-time coaching ranks.

Matta took his first full-time assistant coaching position under Herb Sendek at Miami University (Ohio) in 1994-95 and helped Miami to a 23–7 record, a Mid-American Conference regular-season championship and a first-round win in the NCAA tournament.

The following year, Matta accepted a coaching position at Western Carolina University under Phil Hopkins and helped the Catamounts to a 17–13 record, the school's first winning record in 10 years. Western Carolina captured the Southern Conference tournament championship and advanced to the NCAA tournament. Matta returned to Miami under new head coach Charlie Coles in 1996-97 and helped the RedHawks to a 21–9 record, the MAC regular season and tournament championships and a berth in the NCAA tournament.

Matta rejoined Butler University's staff in 1997 and helped the Bulldogs to three-consecutive 20-win seasons. He established himself as one of the nation's best young coaching prospects during a six-year assistant coaching stint. In his three seasons as Barry Collier's top assistant, Butler compiled a 67–29 (.698) record, won two Midwestern Collegiate Conference tournament championships and one MCC regular-season title, made two NCAA tournament appearances and earned one NIT berth. He served as Butler's primary recruiter.

Head Coaching

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Butler

Matta took over as head coach of Butler when Barry Collier left after the 1999–2000 season to coach at the University of Nebraska. Matta was named 2000–01 Midwestern Collegiate Conference Coach of the Year in his first and only season as head coach at Butler, after leading the Bulldogs to a school record 24 wins. He was also named National "Rookie Coach of the Year" by CBS SportsLine.com and College Insider.com.

Butler was 24–8 under Matta's direction that year with an 11-3 record and an MCC regular season championship, a MCC tournament championship and an appearance in the second round of the NCAA tournament. Butler won 13 of its last 15 games. Eventual NCAA runner-up Arizona ended the Butler run in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

Xavier

At Xavier, Matta led the Musketeers to three-consecutive 26-win seasons, back-to-back Atlantic 10 Conference regular-season championships in 2002 and 2003 and two league tournament titles in 2002 and 2004. Xavier advanced to three NCAA tournaments, including an Elite Eight appearance in 2004 following two second-round trips. The three season totals of 26 wins are tied for the second-highest single-season win total in Xavier history with the 1987–88 team and trails only the 28 win 1989–90 "Sweet 16" season.

Matta's 26 wins for the 2002–03 season marked the highest win total ever for a second-year Xavier head coach. He also broke the school record for most victories by a Xavier rookie head coach. Xavier's 26–6 record in the 2001–02 campaign set the record.

Matta was named 2002 Atlantic 10 Conference Coach of the Year, while leading the Musketeers to the top regular season finish in the league at 14–2 and an Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament championship. In addition, Matta became the only first-year coach in conference history to ever win both the A-10 regular season and tourney championships.

Ohio State

Matta, a finalist for the 2002–03 Naismith National Coach of the Year Award, began his duties in Columbus on July 7, 2004. No time was wasted preparing for his first season in Columbus, which culminated in a 65–64 victory over undefeated and top-ranked Illinois in the regular-season finale at Value City Arena before a packed house and a national television audience. The Buckeyes' final record for the 2004–2005 campaign was 20–12.

In the 2005–2006 season Matta led the Buckeyes to an outright Big Ten Championship for the first time since 1992, finishing one game ahead of the University of Iowa and the University of Illinois. The Buckeyes season came to an end during the second round of the NCAA tournament when they lost to Georgetown University on March 19, 2006. Their final overall record was 26–6. The Buckeyes were thought to be a year away from competing for the league crown, as they were to add a highly regarded recruiting class, dubbed the "Thad Five," led by center Greg Oden of Lawrence North High School in Indianapolis for the 2006–2007 season. The Buckeyes did win the Big Ten and Matta led Ohio State all the way to the national championship game, where they lost to Florida.

In the 2007–2008 season, Matta's Buckeyes did not make the NCAA tournament. However, they won the 2008 NIT championship, despite playing with four new starters for the second consecutive year.

In 2009, Ohio State went to the NCAA Tournament, but eliminated in the first round. But in 2010, the Buckeyes won a share of the Big Ten and the 2010 conference tournament title.

Successful Former Assistants

Coaches who worked for Matta at Butler are currently in head coaching positions at Iowa University and Butler University. Sean Miller worked for Matta for three years at Xavier and was hired as head coach when Matta left, then took the job at University of Arizona. The success of Matta's staff at Ohio State was acknowledged by Ohio University in 2008, when former Buckeyes Associate Head Coach John Groce was chosen to lead that program.

Head coaching record

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Butler (Horizon League) (2000–2001)
2000–2001 Butler 24–8 11–3 1st NCAA Second Round
Butler: 24–8 11–3
Xavier (Atlantic 10 Conference) (2001–2004)
2001–2002 Xavier 26–6 14–2 1st (West) NCAA Second Round
2002–2003 Xavier 26–6 15–1 1st (West) NCAA Second Round
2003–2004 Xavier 26–11 10–6 T–3rd (West) NCAA Elite Eight
Xavier: 78–23 39–9
Ohio State (Big Ten Conference) (2004–present)
2004–2005 Ohio State 20–12 8–8 6th [1]
2005–2006 Ohio State 26–6 12–4 1st NCAA Second Round
2006–2007 Ohio State 35–4 15–1 1st NCAA Runner-up
2007–2008 Ohio State 24–13 10–8 5th NIT Champions
2008–2009 Ohio State 22–11 10–8 T–4th NCAA First Round
2009–2010 Ohio State 27–7 14–4 T–1st NCAA
Ohio State: 154–53 69–33
Total: 256–84

      National Champion         Conference Regular Season Champion         Conference Tournament Champion
      Conference Regular Season & Conference Tournament Champion       Conference Division Champion

References

External links


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