ATHENS — Thad Matta has said no to Georgia.
That’s according to ESPN’s Jeff Goodman, who was tweeting about the information as he received it from Matta himself. Wednesday. Neither Matta nor his agent have returned numerous calls and messages left by DawgNation reporters.
Georgia offered Matta a five-year contract believed to be worth at least $16 million dollars, or $3.2 million per season. According to Goodman, Matta told him he just wasn’t ready to come back to work just yet.
“It was the most difficult decision because Georgia is a tremendous opportunity for a coach to build a great program,” said Matta, who was fired by Ohio State in 2017 after 13 seasons as its coach. “Unfortunately, I just don’t feel that I am completely ready at this point to give Greg McGarity and Georgia what they deserve.”
Matta, 50, has battled chronic back problems since 2007 and they began to affect his ability to recruit and coach with the Buckeyes. They went 17-15 and missed postseason play his last season, but went to the NCAA tournament nine times in 10 seasons and played in the Final Four twice before that.
It’s not known whether Matta is considering offers from any other schools. Ole Miss, Pitt and Louisville reportedly have contacted Matta about their coaching vacancies.
Matta was clearly the Bulldogs’ first choice to replace Mark Fox. Fox was fired Saturday after nine season as men’s basketball coach. Georgia missed the NCAA tournament for the seventh time in his tenure this season.
Matta came to Athens to meet with McGarity and Georgia officials on Monday. He returned to his home in Indianapolis Monday night and returned with his wife Barbara at lunchtime on Tuesday. The couple left Athens’ Ben Epps Airport via UGA’s private plane at 8 p.m. Tuesday night holding Georgia’s offer.
Matta informed McGarity of his decision Wednesday morning. The school was prepared to announce Matta as head coach.
The post BREAKING NEWS: Thad Matta turns down Georgia’s $16 million offer to coach basketball team appeared first on DawgNation.
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