Thad Matta returns to coaching with Butler Bulldogs


Five years after stepping down at Ohio State due to health concerns, Thad Matta is returning to coaching with the Butler men’s basketball team.

Matta, 54, was announced as Butler’s new head coach Sunday in a press release that made no mention of his previous health issues.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to return to Butler and lead our men’s basketball program,” Matta said in the release. “There is a solid foundation in place and I’m confident  that Butler will consistently be among the top programs in the Big East. I can’t wait to attack the work we have in front of us and to be back on the sidelines at Hinkle Fieldhouse.”

Matta played for Butler from 1987 to 1990 and became the team’s head coach 10 years later in 2000. He coached there for only one season, leading the team to a 24-8 record and a trip to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, before leaving to take over at Xavier.

After three seasons with Xavier and a 78-23 record, Matta became the head coach at Ohio State, and the Buckeyes made the Sweet 16 five times, the Final Four twice and lost in the 2007 National Championship Game. 

His final year with Ohio State is the only season he’s ever finished with fewer than 20 wins, and the two sides mutually agreed to part ways in June 2017, citing back and foot problems as the reason for the drop in performance.


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