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Just say "No" Jared. To everything!

As Ty discussed in his article this past week, some coaches may be pulling out their CVs and making some edits and updates in hopes of landing a job at Ohio State next year.  It will be interesting to see how the season and subsequent coaching decision plays out for the football program, and hopefully Luke Fickell lands himself the frontrunner position with a solid 2011-12 campaign at the helm.  Nevertheless, with the present uncertainty surrounding the football team, it is nice to have stability in the Buckeye basketball world.

The perception is that Thad Matta has a very well-run program.  After taking over following Jim O’Brien’s departure, Matta has grown the program to new heights, achieving year-after-year success that has fans enthused and engaged in basketball once again.  O’Brien, who recently was named head coach at DIII school Emerson after being out of coaching for a period of time, left Ohio State amidst rules violations that resulted in significant penalties for the university.  Fortunately Matta has avoided anything of that nature thus far, and although nobody expected the sudden fallout that has occurred with Jim Tressel given his image and reputation, comments by Jared Sullinger in a featured ESPN article on Thursday provide reason to believe that there is little cause to worry about a similar surprise with Matta.

Matta in his "young Michael Corleone" years

It would be ideal if Matta’s eventual departure from Columbus comes with a retirement decision made after many years of success, as was anticipated with Tressel.  We discussed Thad’s tenure at Ohio State in a podcast during the past basketball season, and indeed, a potential move to a new program seems limited to just a few very select options, if any.  One could argue whether or not Matta has “made it” as a head coach in college basketball depending on the factors considered (overall record, championships won, teams coached, etc), but certainly he has risen in the ranks in outstanding fashion since starting as a graduate assistant at Indiana State University in 1990.  Matta made his bones while serving in positions such as academic coordinator and administrative assistant at Butler, where he later returned and eventually established himself as one of the best rising coaches in the country.

The career trajectory of a coach can start any number of places.  We saw former Duke point guard Greg Paulus come on board as the video coordinator for the basketball team earlier in the spring, and likely Paulus has aspirations to be a head coach himself one day.   The story of Brad Stevens leaving a “regular job” at Eli Lilly to start as a volunteer with Butler (under Thad) is fairly well known among college basketball followers, largely because Stevens has found so much success coaching the Bulldogs.  Coach K will eventually end his storied career at Duke, and in my opinion Stevens would be an ideal fit for the Blue Devil program, a move that would certainly cap off his rise from volunteer to a pinnacle position in college basketball.


This summer has seen former Ohio State assistant Archie Miller take over at Dayton, rumors of Matt Painter leaving Purdue for Missouri, facts of Ed DeChellis leaving Penn State for Navy, and speculation about who would replace Gary Williams at Maryland.  The aptly described coaching carousel spins, and school’s scramble to find replacements with the best candidates on the market.  Coaches on the sideline who have continuously polished their resumes over the years get to pick from the best spots available (the equivalent of the horses that go up and down on the carousel).  In this summer of discontent in Columbus, it’s a relief as an Ohio State fan to have a some confidence that we won’t have any basketball shake-ups added to the mix, and that our coach is firmly off the carousel.

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