Thad Matta out as Ohio State basketball coach

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

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.

Ohio State announced Monday afternoon that Thad Matta will no longer be the head coach of the Ohio State men's basketball team.

Matta, who attributed his dismissal to his health, will stay on to help in the school's search for a new coach, though Smith said does not have a timeline to secure a replacement (Matta has three years remaining on his contract). 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 is out as coach of Ohio State after 13 seasons. He is the all-time wins leader and owns the record for most games coached at Ohio State. OSU made another trip to the Final Four five years later when it fell to Kansas, 64-62. Matta lost in his only national championship appearance to Florida in 2007.

"While this may be a surprise to many, it's the right thing for our program at this time", Smith said. He mentioned "trying to get healthy" as a reason for leaving the job.

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"This has probably been the greatest 13 years of my life", said Matta, his voice breaking as he quoted lyrics from the Grateful Dead. "I am confident in his leadership to return the program to the winning ways that we have all enjoyed during his 13-year tenure".

In recent years, he had been plagued by health problems stemming from a back surgery despite not yet turning 50. "And that to me is something I'm going to hang my hat on, that this program was run the right way". It was also the first to miss a postseason tournament since Matta's debut at Ohio State in 2004-05.

"The last thing I hope I'm remembered for is that we always did it the right way", Matta said.