INDIANAPOLIS – Thad Matta is returning to coach Butler basketball.
The university made the announcement Sunday morning. Matta will be introduced at a Wednesday news conference, according to a news release.
Matta, who spent this past season as an associate athletic director at Indiana University, will be re-introduced Wednesday at Hinkle Fieldhouse. He replaces LaVall Jordan, who was fired on Friday after five years leading the Bulldogs program.
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“Butler is a special place, one that Barb, Ali, Emily and I each chose as our school,” Matta said in a news release. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to return to Butler and lead our men’s basketball program.
“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.”
Health issues effectively ended Matta’s coaching career at Ohio State.
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He lives across the street from athletic director Barry Collier, who hired Matta as a Butler assistant coach. Matta was 24-8 in his only season as Butler head coach, delivering the Bulldogs’ first NCAA tournament victory in 32 years.
He has a 17-year coaching record of 439-154 (.733), averaging 26 wins a year. He was 78-23 in three years at Xavier and 337-123 in 13 years at Ohio State.
He took teams to two Final Fours, four Elite Eights, six Sweet 16s, five Big Ten championships, four Big Ten tournament titles, 13 NCAA tournaments.
“The success that Thad has achieved at every one of his programs speaks for himself,” Collier said. “He is a championship-caliber coach and recruiter who brings valuable experience and contagious energy to Butler.”
In Matta’s playing career, he was a standout at Hoopeston-East Lynn High School in Hoopeston, Ill.
He was a two-year starter for Butler in three seasons after transferring from Southern Illinois. He led Butler in assists (100) and 3-point percentage (.433) in 1987-88 and in free throw percentage (.872) in 1988-89. He served as a team captain on Collier’s first Butler team in 1989-90.
Matta started as an academic coordinator and administrative assistant at Butler (1991-94) and was top assistant with the Bulldogs in 1999-2000,
He was on staffs at Indiana State, Miami (Ohio) and Western Carolina before returning to Butler in 1999.
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George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism