ShareThis Page
Nation, World Sports

Linked to Pitt job, Thad Matta interviews for Georgia opening

| Tuesday, March 13, 2018, 10:42 a.m.
Ohio State head coach Thad Matta reacts from the sideline during the second half against Penn State on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014 in University Park.
Ohio State head coach Thad Matta reacts from the sideline during the second half against Penn State on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014 in University Park.

Georgia officials interviewed former Ohio State coach Thad Matta on Monday, launching their coach search only two days after the school fired Mark Fox.

Matta's name has been mentioned in connection with the vacancy at Pitt.

Matta's visit to Athens was closely monitored by his older brother, Greg Matta, who is the coach at North Cobb Christian School in Kennesaw, Ga., about a 90-minute drive away.

Greg Matta said Monday his younger brother told him before the interview “what an exciting place” Georgia is as a possible next coaching job.

Thad Matta's visit to Athens was a poorly kept secret.

“I had people in school tell me ‘Your brother is in Athens,'” said Greg Matta, who added that “it would be awesome” to have his brother so close to home.

Thad Matta, 50, led Ohio State to nine NCAA Tournaments, including two Final Four appearances, and five Big Ten regular season championships in 13 years.

He also led Xavier to the NCAA Tournament in each of his three years at the school and had another NCAA appearance in his only season as Butler's coach.

He was fired by Ohio State following a 17-15 finish in the 2016-17 season.

“I know Thad has always missed it,” Greg Matta said. “It's in his blood.

“Thad is a great coach. Whoever gets Thad is going to get an unbelievable basketball coach and a great person.”

Matta's overall record is 439-154. He has been troubled for years by chronic back problems and said after he left Ohio State his focus would be on his health.

Greg Matta said the brothers don't discuss Thad Matta's health issues. He said Thad Matta “looked great” when the two were together around Christmas.

“We didn't go play golf or anything like that but he seemed to be doing fine,” said Greg Matta. “We really don't talk about that. ... All I know is he looked great and was moving around and even the color in his face, he was looking great.”

Fox was fired Saturday .

Georgia (18-15) lost to Kentucky in the quarterfinals of the Southeastern Conference Tournament, ending the Bulldogs' hopes of landing a spot in the NCAA Tournament.

Georgia earned only two NCAA bids in Fox's tenure, losing in the first round in 2011 and 2015. Fox was 163-133 at Georgia.

Another possible candidate to replace Fox is former Indiana and Marquette coach Tom Crean.

Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity did not respond to a request from The Associated Press for a comment on Matta.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me