April 30, 2006
Thad Matta was voted the Ohio Men’s College Basketball Coach of the Year Sunday, an honor awarded annually by the Columbus Dispatch. The honor, voted on by Ohio coaches, is the second of Matta’s head coaching career. He claimed the same award while the head coach at Xavier in 2004.
Matta is the fifth Ohio State coach to win the Dispatch award for men’s basketball. Eldon Miller (1983), Gary Williams (1987), Randy Ayers (1991) and Jim O’Brien (1999) also were honored. Ohio State’s Jim Foster claimed his second-consecutive honor for women’s basketball coaches this year as well.
The Buckeye men’s team finished the 2005-06 campaign with 26-6 overall and 12-4 Big Ten Conference regular-season records. Ohio State won its 11th outright and 16th overall Big Ten regular-season championship, advanced to the title game of the annual league tournament and made it to the second round of the 2006 NCAA Tournament, the 19th appearance in school history.
Matta picked up 2006 Big Ten Coach of the Year honors as well as the District V United States Basketball Writers Association Coach of the Year award.
In two seasons as the head coach at Ohio State, Matta has compiled a record or 46-18 and is 20-12 in Big Ten regular-season competition. Overall, in six seasons as a collegiate head coach, Matta is 148-49 for a .751 winning percentage. His teams have never failed to win fewer than 20 games in a season during his career. Matta and Mark Few of Gonzaga are the only NCAA Division I head men’s basketball coaches to win 20 or more games per year in the first six seasons of a career.
The Buckeyes have been particularly impressive in Columbus under Matta’s direction. Ohio State finished 16-1 at Value City Arena in 2005-06, which set a record for home wins in a season. In two years with Matta on the sidelines, the Buckeyes are 31-3 when playing in Columbus, which includes an 18-0 record vs. non-conference opponents. Ohio State already is rated among the Top 5 teams nationally by several prognosticators for the 2006-07 season. Fall practice begins Saturday, Oct. 14.