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Jeff Boals, the associate head men’s basketball coach at the University of Akron last season, has joined the Ohio State men’s basketball staff as an assistant, Thad Matta, head coach of the Buckeyes, announced Tuesday.

Boals replaces Archie Miller, who left Ohio State for an assistant position at the University of Arizona.

A native of Magnolia, Ohio, Boals understands the responsibilities associated with the Ohio State program.
 
“I grew up in Ohio. I understand the magnitude of Buckeye Nation and I love college basketball. I live it,” Boals said. “To have the opportunity to take my love of the game to a basketball program as highly regarded and revered as Ohio State it doesn’t get better than this. I appreciate the confidence Coach Matta has in me and in my ability to be a difference maker in his program. This is an exciting time for both my family and me. There is no place I’d rather take the next step in my career.”

Boals (pronounced BOWLS) spent three seasons as a member of the Akron basketball staff, his final as the associate head coach. He served as the program’s recruiting coordinator and was responsible for the development of the team’s post players.

Matta said Boal’s background in Ohio will be an asset to the Buckeye’s program.

“We are excited to bring Jeff aboard,” Matta said. “He is a passionate coach with a great track record.  He was born and raised in Ohio, went to school in this state, has built strong recruiting roots here and has a unbelievable appreciation for The Ohio State University.”

Akron posted a 23-13 record (10-6 in the Mid-American Conference), won their first MAC tournament championship and made their second appearance in the NCAA tournament and first since 1986
   
Over the previous two seasons, Boals aided the Zips in winning a MAC East Division title (2007), making consecutive appearances in the MAC tournament championship game (2007 and 2008) and advancing to the second round of the National Invitation Tournament (2008).
   
Boals joined the Zips program after spending two seasons (2004-05 and 2005-06) as the top assistant coach at Robert Morris. 
   
In his two seasons at RMU, Boals worked with the Colonials’ post players and served as recruiting coordinator. Part of a program turnaround orchestrated by head coach Mark Schmidt, the Colonials posted the program’s first winning record since 1999-2000, going 15-14 in 2005-06.
   
Prior to his time at RMU, Boals spent the 2003-04 season as the associate head coach at Division II University of Charleston in Charleston, W.Va. During that time he was responsible for developing the Golden Eagles’ post and perimeter players and oversaw the program’s recruiting efforts.        

That was actually his second stint at the school, having been an assistant coach from 1996-99. During those three seasons the program recorded a 63-26 mark, and captured the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WVIAC) tournament championship in 1999 to earn a bid into the NCAA Tournament. The team was also ranked in the top 25 during the 1998-99 campaign, peaking as high as No. 11.
   
Boals served as an assistant coach at former MAC institution Marshall from 1999-2003. He worked closely with the Thundering Herd’s recruiting during that time, helping the program land an incoming class that was regarded as the best in the league by several scouting services.
   
A 1995 graduate of Ohio University with a bachelor of science degree in biological sciences, Boals was a four-year letterwinner on the Bobcats’ basketball team. Also a two-year captain, he helped guide OU to the 1994 MAC tournament and regular-season championships, the same season the program won the Preseason National Invitation Tournament. In the preseason NIT, the Bobcats notched road victories over Ohio State and Virginia before edging New Mexico State and George Washington at Madison Square Garden.
   
Boals began his coaching career at OU as an assistant coach from 1995-96.
   
Boals and his wife, Katie, have two children, Sydney and Chase.