tBBC Basketball Roundtable – Coaching Staff

Written November 6th, 2012 by WVaBuckeye

As the regular season rapidly approaches we here at tBBC take the time to introduce you to the coaching staff and update you on their information. We all will also take the opportunity to express our opinions about said coaches and hopefully get your feedback in the comments section!


Head Coach. Thad Matta. It could be enough to simply say that all Coach Matta has done in his head coaching career is win atleast twenty games every season, but that doesn’t even do him justice. On top of that, he has had two teams in the final four, three-consecutive appearances in the NCAA tournament “Sweet 16,” a fifth Big Ten regular-season crown and yet another drive toward a Big Ten postseason title by making the finals again! Currently has an overall head coaching record of 323-96.

Player wise he has coached two B1G POTY(Dials, Turner), six First Team B1G(Dials, Oden, Conley, Butler, Turner, Sullinger), three All-Americans(Oden, Turner, Sullinger), and has had seven first round NBA draft picks(Oden, Conley, Cook, Koufos, Mullens, Turner, Sullinger).

Per Ohiostatebuckeyes.com 


  • Full Name: Thad Michael Matta
  • Born: July 11, 1967
  • Hometown: Hoopeston, Ill.
  • High School: Hoopeston-East Lynn
  • Alma Mater: Butler, ’90 (B.S., Education)
  • Playing Career: Played his freshman season at Southern Illinois (1985-86) before transferring to Butler, where he lettered from 1988-90.
  • Coaching Career: Indiana State (GA), 1991; Butler (admin. asst.), 1992-94; Miami, Ohio (asst. coach), 1995; Western Carolina (asst. coach), 1996; Miami, Ohio (asst. coach), 1997; Butler (asst. coach), 1998-2000; Butler (head coach), 2001; Xavier (head coach), 2002-04; Ohio State (head coach), 2005-present
  • Assisted Under: Tates Locke, Indiana State; Herb Sendek, Miami, Ohio; Phil Hopkins, Western Carolina; Charlie Coles, Miami, Ohio; Barry Collier, Butler.
  • Highlights: 2001 Midwestern Collegiate Conference Coach of the Year; National “Rookie” Coach of the Year-CBS SportsLine.com; National “Rookie” Coach of the Year-College Insider.com; 2002 Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year; 2003 Naismith National Coach of the Year Finalist; 2006, 2007 Big Ten Coach of the Year; 2004, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011 Ohio Coach of the Year-Columbus Dispatch

In the most recent years at Ohio State, some people have wondered about the coaching job Coach Matta has done. I for one in the belief that he did one of his best coaching jobs last season and has an opportunity to follow that up with an even better one. This team has the talent to reload and give teams fits. Coach Matta is going to be missing one of his floor generals this season but there isn’t a better coach on the floor than Aaron Craft.

Coach Matta will win the Buckeyes a championship, the recipe is there and continues to grow. It’ll be a lot of fun watching how he develops this team and the lessons he will teach him. I am sure that the youngsters recall him kicking the veterans out of a practice last year. They also recall that they didn’t answer the call and coach Matta stuck to his guns with his veterans. Time will tell if he did do the best job of his career this season.

Strength and Conditioning Coach. Dave Richardson. 
Prior to working at Ohio State, Richardson spent 4 years at the University of Miami (FL), where he was the strength and conditioning coach for the Hurricane Men’s Basketball, women’s volleyball and tennis programs. The former U.S. Army sergeant also spent 6 years as the Head Strength and Conditioning at the Northeast Louisiana University, and 5 years as the Head Strength and Conditioning coach at Nicholls State University. Richardson received his bachelor’s degree in health and human performance in 1989 and a master’s degree in exercise science in 1990 from Northeast Louisiana University.

Coach Richardson has had some great success preparing the basketball players for their seasons. His off-season conditioning program goes unmatched in thr B1G and may be one of the best in the nation. We will see what the conditioning will do for this team that will want to run and gun this year.


Associate Head Coach. Dave Dickerson. Coach Dickerson joined the Ohio State coaching staff in April 2010 as an assistant coach.  He was named associate head coach during summer 2011.

Prior to his coaching career at Ohio State, Dickerson spent five years as the head coach at Tulane, where he had a 68-84 record (31-47 in Conference USA). Before his arrival, the Green Wave had had just one winning season in the previous five years.  Dickerson led them to back to back winning seasons in 06-07 and 07-08.  He also led them to four consecutive first round Conference USA tournament wins when he arrived in New Orleans.

Before taking over as the head coach of the Green Wave, Dickerson spent nine years as an assistant at Maryland, his alma mater.  In 2004-05, he was the associate head coach for the Terrapins.  During his time there, he helped them to nine post-season appearances, including five “Sweet Sixteens,” two “Final Fours,” and one national championship in 2002.

Prior to his tenure at Maryland, Dickerson was also an assistant at Gardner Webb (1990-91), James Madison (1991-92), and Radner (1993-96).   He lettered as a player at Maryland from 1986-89 and was a team captain his senior year.

Dickerson’s ability to recruit well and bring in top-level talent to Ohio State has made him an important member of the coaching staff.  He has connections that have opened up recruiting for the Buckeyes along the East Coast and in the southern states.  Moreover, his previous positions as both a head coach and an assistant bring invaluable experience to the staff that has helped the Buckeyes achieve success.

Vince O’Brien. Team Trainer. Vince O’Brien is in his 20th year at Ohio State and in his 13th year as the Ohio State men’s basketball trainer.

O’Brien is mainly responsible for men’s basketball and men’s golf, but oversees the entire athletic training facility located at the Schottenstein Center, which takes care of men’s and women’s basketball, men’s ice hockey, men’s and women’s golf, and spirit squads. With men’s basketball, O’Brien evaluates injuries, designs rehabilitation programs, and facilitates physician care.

He began his career as an athletic trainer at Bishop Watterson High School in Columbus after graduating from Ohio State in 1991.  In 1993, O’Brien was hired as an athletic trainer by OSU to oversee the Larkins Hall Athletic Training Facility where he worked with the wrestling, gymnastics, aquatics, fencing, and rowing teams.  He moved to the Biggs Athletic Training Facility in 1998 where he worked with the men’s soccer, baseball, and women’s tennis teams.  Internationally, O’Brien has served as an athletic trainer for USA wrestling, USA men’s water polo, USA men’s basketball, and USA men’s soccer.

O’Brien is part of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association and was named 2003 Collegiate Athletic Trainer of the Year by OATA. O’Brien’s experience in athletic training at both the collegiate and international levels makes him an invaluable part of the Ohio State basketball staff. His ability to assist players in recovering from injuries and in injury prevention has led to Ohio State’s continued success on the court.


Assistant Coach. Jeff Boals. A graduate, and 4-year letter winner, of Ohio University, Jeff Boals has been an accomplished assistant coach for the Buckeyes since 2009.  He has been coaching since his matriculation from Ohio, including assistant coach of Division II University of Charleston (1996-99), Marshall University (1999-2003), associate head coach of Charleston (2003-04), assistant coach at Robert Morris (2004-06), and the Akron Zips (2006-09).

His career at Ohio marked a high point in the program.  As a two-year captain of the Bobcats, Boals was able to lead the school to the 1994 MAC championship in both the regular season and the tournament.  That same season, the Bobcats notched victories against Ohio State and Virginia on their way to a Preseason NIT title.

Jeff Boals has been one of the shining stars at Ohio State, helping to draw in top talent from around the country.  In particular, the pick-up of swoon-worthy Aaron Craft from the vile clutches of Bruce Pearle at Tennessee must be regarded as one of his crowning achievements.  While at OSU, he has helped to engineer a pair of impressive seasons: 29-8 in 2010, and 34-3 last year.

Director of Basketball Operations. Dave Ekelhoff. David graduated from Ohio State University in 2001, and has served as the Director of Basketball Operations for the last six seasons.  His duties, as per ohiostatebuckeyes.com include directing the day-to-day operations of the basketball program and acting as a liaison between the athletic department, university, and the basketball team, as well as an assortment of other critical functions.  His most impressive achievement to date was the planning and creation of the new practice facility addition to the Schottenstein Center.

Prior to his current role, he worked for the Orlando Magic as a member of their basketball operations group in 2002 and 2003.  He followed that up as the video coordinator at Ohio State for three years.  While in school from 1998-2002 he served as a basketball manager, including head manager during his senior season.



Assistant Coach. Chris Jent. When it comes to heart, hustle, and effort, no one has more or gave more than Chris Jent.  As a member of the Ohio State basketball team from 1988-92, Chris was a vital member of teams that made 3 NCAA Tournament appearances.  He may, or may not have had, the talent as some of his teammates, which included Jim Jackson, Jay Burson, Treg Lee, and Ricky Dudley, but the one thing I remember the most about him is his grittiness.  I remember seeing Chris dive after every ball on the floor.  Jumping into the stands to save possessions, and in one case seal a victory by keeping the clock moving in throwing the ball to the opposite end of the court.  All of this added up to 123 games, 1000+ points, back to back B1G Championships, and a ranking of 8th all time in 3-point FG percentage(.382%).

After his playing career at Ohio State, Chris went on to play 10 professional seasons between the NBA, CBA, and overseas.  In 2003, he joined the Philadelphia 76ers coaching staff.  He then moved on to  the Orlando Magic coaching staff the following year and ended up as Interim Head Coach for 18 games that year.  Jent then returned to Ohio State in 2005-06 to get his degree in communication and work as a volunteer assistant.

After obtaining his degree, the Cleveland Cavs called upon Jent in 2006 to become their Director of Player Development.  After 3 years in this role, the Cavs promoted him to Assistant Coach in 2009.  He remained as an assistant until he joined Coach Matta’s coaching staff in June 2011.

As a player, Chris was my dad’s favorite.  I usually hate the term 110%, but my dad used that term religiously when talking about Jent.  When everyone was talking about the “stars” of the teams he played on, my dad was always saying “Jent is the one that really gets this team going”.  I am so excited to have Chris as a member of the coaching staff and I am looking forward to many more to come!

Video Coordinator. Greg Paulus. Some people have athletic talent and some people have academic talent.  Greg Paulus has them both.  Greg played 4 years at Duke and started three of them.  As a freshman, he led the ACC in assists and is only one out four players to ever hold that honor as freshman.  He led the league in assists in 2006, 2007, and 2008.  Paulus led his Duke teams to 4 NCAA Tournament appearances, while leading his team to a record of 128-28. After his career at Duke he then went on to Syracuse for his Master’s degree and played one season as QB for the Orange.

I’m pretty sure all that proves his athletic talent, so let’s look at Greg’s academic side.  Paulus received his Bachelors in Political Science from Duke and then his Masters in Communication from Syracuse.  While at Duke he was a 3-time member of the All-ACC Academic team and a 2-time member of the 3rd Team All-American Academic team.  Then in 2009 while playing football for the Orange, Greg made the Big East All Academic team.

In 2010 Greg joined the Navy coaching staff as an assistant.  After a short stint there, Coach Matta snagged Paulus up and named him as Video Coordinator.  As Video Coordinator, Greg’s main responsibility will be scouting and breaking down opponents on video. Coach Matta is quoted as saying, “I have known Greg dating back to when I recruited him out of high school. He brings a wealth of knowledge as a young man who has played basketball at the highest level in addition to his year as a full time Division I coach. He is a rising star in the coaching business.”

Adding Paulus to the coaching staff  was a huge addition for the Buckeyes’ coaching staff for many reasons.  His talent and intelligence are obvious but I would have to think that anyone that has played for Coach Krzyzewski is sure to have picked up some good coaching pointers.

That’s the wrap-up of coaches from tBBC, give us your feedback and let us know what you think of each coach! Go Bucks!

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