The Georgia Bulldogs are moving fast in their effort to find a new men’s basketball coach.
After meeting with former Ohio State coach Thad Matta on campus in Athens on Monday, Georgia has reportedly offered him the job, according to Jon Rothstein of Fan Rag Sports. Rothstein further reports that Matta is expected to make a decision within 24 hours.
Sources: Georgia has offered its head coaching vacancy to former Ohio State head coach Thad Matta. STORY @FanRagSports: https://t.co/XQ87yUh9vW— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) March 13, 2018
Original story - Seth Emerson and Chip Towers, DawgNation
Two days after firing Mark Fox, Georgia had former Ohio State coach Thad Matta on campus, showing him its facilities and discussing a possible deal.
Every indication so far is that Matta, who was let go by Ohio State last year, is Georgia’s top target to replace Fox. And UGA did not waste any time in setting up a meeting.
Matta was spotted Monday night at the Athens airport by the Athens Banner-Herald, as he was boarding a plane back home to Indianapolis. Earlier in the day, Matta toured UGA’s facilities, according to a person familiar with the search.
UGA and Matta have discussed parameters of a potential deal, the person familiar with the search also said.
It doesn't appear that Georgia has interviewed anyone else, and it's not clear if any interviews are set up yet. UGA representatives contacted Tom Crean, the former Indiana and Marquette head coach, but it hasn't gone further than that yet.
Matta was also reportedly at Ole Miss on March 1, but no deal has materialized and Matta’s name has not been mentioned much lately in that school’s search. Andy Kennedy stepped down as Ole Miss head coach in February.
There are also openings at Louisville and Pittsburgh, where Matta could be a candidate based on his background in the Midwest. Prior to Ohio State, where Matta was for 11 years, he was also the head coach at Xavier (2001-04) and Butler (2000-01).
Matta has never coached in the SEC or the Southeast, but he does have a connection: His brother Greg is the head coach at North Cobb Christian School, a private school in Kennesaw that produced former Georgia guard Dustin Ware. Greg Matta was also an assistant coach at Kennesaw State.
Thad Matta guided Ohio State to two Final Fours and nine Big Ten titles. Ohio State did slip near the end of his tenure, missing the NCAA Tournament in his final two seasons and not reaching the Sweet 16 the two seasons before that. But he finished his tenure at Ohio State with an overall winning percentage of .733.
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Credit: Ben Hendren for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution