'A long, strange trip': Thad Matta out as Ohio State coach

If no one is willing to leave their current gig, Ohio State could have no choice but to take the embattled former IN head coach who has made it very clear he wants to coach again.

At a news conference Monday afternoon, Ohio State announced Matta will no longer be the coach of the program that he's led for the last 13 seasons.

Gene Smith, Ohio State's athletic director, said during the press conference that after the season, the plan was to bring Matta back for the 2017-18 season, but due to some losses on the recruiting trail, Smith did not think that the Buckeyes were recruiting well enough to turn this around.

FILE - In this March 4, 2017, file photo, Ohio State head coach Thad Matta reacts to a referee's call during an NCAA college basketball game against In, In Columbus, Ohio. OSU made another trip to the Final Four five years later when it fell to Kansas, 64-62.

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Matta, who coached 13 years for the Buckeyes, accumulated a 337-123 record at the school, and a 439-154 record overall.

Later that day, Ohio State lost to Rutgers in the Big Ten Tournament in what became the final game of a disappointing season.

Smith said the Buckeyes will conduct a national search for their next coach.

Matta previously underwent emergency back surgery in 2007 that left him without a fully functioning right foot due to nerve damage.

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"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". Ohio State has missed the last two NCAA tournaments and, in 2014 and 2015, failed to make it out of the first weekend.

At a news conference Monday, Matta mentioned "trying to get healthy" as one reason for leaving the job. As for coaching again, he said: "Never say never". He has dealt with some medical issues over the years, including his back.

Matta was previously an assistant coach for Butler and Miami (Ohio). "And that to me is something I'm going to hang my hat on, that this program was run the right way".

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