Ohio State and basketball coach Thad Matta have parted ways after 13 years, athletic director Gene Smith announced at a press conference Monday. Matta is the winningest coach in Ohio State history and led his team to the national title game in 2007.

Matta was long considered one of the best coaches in the Big Ten, but his team has struggled in recent years (compared to the standard he set), even with solid talent. This year, the Buckeyes went 17-15 and 7-11 in the Big Ten—Matta’s worst record at the school—with a Big Ten Tournament loss to bottom-feeder Rutgers.

OSU athletic director Gene Smith said that Matta will stay on board and assist with the news coaching search, but that a change needed to be made.

Matta has dealt with health issues for the past few years, and they have been noticeable on the court.

After a botched surgery left him with back problems and a less than fully functioning right foot, Matta has walked with a limp on the sidelines, wears a supportive brace on his lower right leg and sits on a barstool instead of the regular bench seat at games for more back support.

He has been candid in sharing stories about his back pain. He said he has to have his family help him take off his shoes when he gets home because he can’t do it himself.

Matta, who will work on getting healthy in the short term but could eventually go back to coaching, said his health issues have gotten in the way of his ability to coach.

The timing of this announcement is strange, given that most coaching searches have already happened, and many top coaches are likely unavailable. Ohio State’s reported wish list contains a number of coaches who the school is unlikely to get.

Brad Stevens is with the Boston Celtics and didn’t leave for Indiana, Tony Bennett has been sought after for the past few years but never left Virginia, Jay Wright won the 2016 national title with Villanova, Sean Miller is likely to have one of the best teams in the country next season at Arizona, and Billy Donovan is with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Buckeyes are now exiting their most successful basketball era ever, so they’ll need to make a splashy hire. Whether they can pull off one of those big names remains to be seen.

About Kevin Trahan

Kevin mostly covers college football and college basketball, with an emphasis on NCAA issues and other legal issues in sports. He is also an incoming law student. He's written for SB Nation, USA Today, VICE Sports, The Guardian and The Wall Street Journal, among others. He is a graduate of Northwestern University.