A Milestone For Coach Matta

Today Ohio State basketball coach Thad Matta notched his 300th career collegiate coaching victory.  It is a milestone for a man who helped to haul the Ohio State basketball program out of the mire and vault it into the stratosphere — and therefore is a milestone well worth celebrating.

Most of Coach Matta’s wins — 198, to be exact — have come in his 7 1/2 seasons at Ohio State.  From the moment he set foot in the Value City Arena, he has recruited studs, churned out NBA players, and won at least 20 games.  Under Coach Matta, Ohio State has won three Big Ten championships, played in the Big Ten title game two other times, made the NCAA tournament 5 times, advanced to the Sweet 16 twice, and produced two Big Ten players of the year.  You could not have asked for a more complete — and more welcome — turnaround than Coach Matta has provided.

I went to today’s game, thanks to the generosity of my friend JV.  The Buckeyes didn’t shoot very well, but played terrific defense and crushed a thoroughly outmatched team from Texas Pan American, 64-35.  (Next up for the Buckeyes — Texas TWA, then Texas USAir!)  Jared Sullinger was out with back spasms, so we got to see a lot of the Buckeyes’ bench players, and they look to be a very talented young crew. They represent what you get from Coach Matta — lots of tough, athletic kids who play well as a team.

It was fun to watch the youngsters, and fun to be there for Coach Matta’s latest milestone.  Congratulations, Coach Matta!  I hope to be there for win no. 400.

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