Nov. 3, 2006
COLUMBUS, Ohio-Thad Matta, head coach of the Ohio State men’s basketball team, agreed to a new contract that runs through the 2014-15 season, Eugene Smith, OSU director of athletics, announced Friday. Matta, 39, had been signed through the 2012 season.
The new contract is retroactive to July 1, 2006 and runs through June 30, 2015. Under the terms of the agreement, the total value is $1,889,400 for the 2006-07 season and $2,630,500 in the final year of the agreement in 2014-15.
“Thad Matta has an extraordinary gift,” Smith said. “His energy and enthusiasm are both tangible and contagious, and his results speak for themselves. He is a master coach, and teacher, and a highly positive influence on the young men in the program. We are immensely proud to have him as our coach”
Matta said he is anxious to carry on the tradition of Ohio State basketball.
“I would like to thank Gene Smith, President Karen Holbrook, and our board of trustees for their confidence in our program,” Matta said. “More than anything, I think it sends a clear message about their belief in Ohio State basketball and the direction we collectively are trying to move this program toward in the future.
“There are many people that I should thank at this time,” Matta said. “First and foremost would be some recent Ohio State graduates-Terence Dials, James Sullinger and Matt Sylvester. They, along with fellow captain Je’Kel Foster, who is playing professionally overseas, put aside a load of distractions and won an outright Big Ten championship. My staff and I had the honor of coaching them and we are anxious to carry the program forward for them and all of the other players, coaches, and student managers who have been part of Ohio State basketball.”
Matta’s teams have compiled a record of 148-49 in his six seasons as a head coach. Each team has won at least 20 games, making him one of two coaches nationally to record 20 or more victories in each of his first six years as an NCAA Division I head coach. Mark Few of Gonzaga has done so in each of his first seven seasons.
Ohio State is 46-18 with Matta at the helm heading into his third season in Columbus. Each team eligible for postseason competition under Matta’s direction has competed in NCAA tournament play. He has never lost a first round NCAA tournament game in five appearances. His 2003-04 Xavier squad advanced to the NCAA regional finals (Elite Eight) falling to Duke 66-63 for the right to advance to the Final Four that year.
Ohio State was the outright regular season Big Ten Champion in 2006, the first outright and league title for the Buckeyes since 1992. The Buckeyes are 31-3 in Columbus under Matta’s direction with an overall conference record of 20-12.
He is a three-time conference coach of the year, winning the honor in 2001 while coaching Butler in the Midwestern Collegiate Conference, at Xavier in the Atlantic 10 in 2002 and with Ohio State in the Big Ten in 2006.
The 148 wins over his first six seasons ranks No. 5 all time in NCAA history for wins to start a career (6 yrs.). Matta’s winning percentage (.751) also rates No. 5 all-time after six years at the start of a career.
In addition to Matta’s contract, John Groce, who came to Ohio State from Xavier with Matta, has been elevated from assistant to associate head coach of the Buckeyes.
David Egelhoff and Brandon Miller also have new roles with the men’s basketball program. Egelhoff, who spent five seasons as a student manager and three as the program’s video coordinator, takes over as director of basketball operations. He has an undergraduate business administration degree (2001) and a master’s in sports management (2005) from Ohio State.
Miller moves to the video coordinator position after two years as the director of basketball operations. Miller is a 2003 Butler graduate with a degree in education.
Terms of Thad Matta’s Contact:
Thad Matta, Ohio State head coach
On his contract extension
“I’m excited about Ohio State’s belief and commitment to the program. Those are some feelings I had when I started here. It feels good to have the support of the university. It is very important for recruiting – the backbone for our program. Life is hard and coaching is very hard. It gives us the ability to coach and recruit. Our time frame we envision now for our program is up to 2010 and it is vitally important for us. It’s a relief to know I’ll be here then.”
On coaching at a school with a successful football program
“Being able to come to work every day and have Jim Tressel to emulate my program after is wonderful. Who is better to look to than Jim. I can say the same thing about Jim Foster (women’s basketball head coach). It is a huge advantage to have a hall of fame coach right down the hallway from me. That is an added bonus to being here.”
On any added pressure of signing the new contract
“I don’t think anyone can fathom how much pressure I already put on myself. The parity in college basketball motivates me even more to do the best I can.”