Ohio State still pursuing new coach to replace Thad Matta as rumors swirl

By The Sports Xchange   |   June 8, 2017 at 3:11 PM
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Ohio State appears to be moving quickly in its pursuit of a replacement for Thad Matta.

ESPN and CBS Sports reported that Creighton's Greg McDermott met with Ohio State officials on Wednesday night and emerged as the leading candidate for the Buckeyes, who dismissed Matta after 13 seasons on Monday.

According to The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith wants to hire a new coach by the end of the week.

The 52-year-old McDermott has spent the past seven seasons at Creighton, where his team finished 25-10 last season and qualified for the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time during his time at the school. He has a 166-82 overall record there.

McDermott also coached at Wayne State, Northern Iowa and Iowa State.

Ohio State had failed to reach the NCAA Tournament the past two seasons under Matta after a successful run that saw him lead the Buckeyes to two Final Four appearances and multiple Big Ten titles. He compiled a 337-123 overall record in Columbus after coaching at Butler and Xavier.

Last season, Ohio State finished 17-15 overall and 7-11 in the Big Ten.

One potential Ohio State target, Chicago Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg, told the Chicago Tribune on Wednesday that he has 'no intention of leaving' his current job. He was the head coach at Iowa State before moving to the NBA.

Also mentioned as possibilities are Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams, Butler coach Chris Holtmann and Ohio State assistant Chris Jent.

Jent, a former Ohio State player and NBA coach, interviewed with school administrators earlier Wednesday, The Dispatch reported.

Longshot candidates are Arizona's Sean Miller, Indiana's Archie Miller, Xavier's Chris Mack and Oklahoma City Thunder coach Billy Donovan, a former Florida coach.

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