Thad Matta out as basketball coach at Ohio State

Rothstein | Illinois State transfer Hawkins commits to Boston College

Matta has compiled a 439-154 career record as a coach for Ohio State, Butler and Xavier universities.

A handful of current and former Ohio State basketball players reacted on social media to head coach Thad Matta's abrupt departure from the program on Monday.

"We came to a mutual understanding, and it was time for a change in the basketball program", Ohio State A.D. Gene Smith said. He also collected five Big Ten regular season titles and four conference tournament trophies. He is the winningest coach in program history, and last season was the first time his teams failed to win 20 games in a season.

Matta spent 13 seasons as the head man in Columbus, and overall, his tenure was rather successful. Matta said he's had multiple back surgeries since he was 15 years old which hurt his ability to keep up with the rigors of coaching.

Matta is the all-time Ohio State leader in wins (337) and games coached (460). A national search for Matta's replacement will begin immediately.

"This has probably been the greatest 13 years of my life", said Matta, his voice breaking as he quoted lyrics from the Grateful Dead. In the Big Ten Tournament, Ohio State lost in the first round to Rutgers, the lowest-seeded team.

"We weren't winning the battles in recruiting that I thought we might have a chance to win", said Smith, stating that recruiting is the lifeblood of the program.

"I'm going to say my whole focus right now, is trying to get healthy". As for coaching again, he said: "Never say never". However, the Buckeyes have dropped off from there, making the NCAA Tournament in 2014 and 2015 before missing the tournament the last two years.

Ohio State is considered one of the best coaching jobs in not only the Big Ten, but nationally as well.

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