INDIANAPOLIS – It turns out you can go home again.
Butler has hired Thad Matta as its head basketball coach for the second time.
Matta led the program during the 2000-01 season, winning 24 games, the Midwestern Collegiate Conference regular season and tournament titles and an NCAA Tournament first round game over Wake Forest.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to return to Butler and lead our men’s basketball program,” Matta said in a school news release.
“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.”
“The success that Thad has achieved at every one of his programs speaks for itself,” Butler athletic director Barry Collier said. “He is a championship-caliber coach and recruiter who brings valuable experience and contagious energy to Butler.”
Matta played three seasons for the Bulldogs, serving as captain on Collier’s first team when the current AD was head coach. He was also on Collier’s staff as an assistant two different times.
After his one season as Butler head coach, Matta took over Xavier’s program, leading the Musketeers to three straight 26-win seasons and an Elite Eight appearance.
Matta had his most success at Ohio State, where he’s the Buckeyes’ all-time winningest coach. Ohio State won 337 games, five Big Ten regular season championships and four tournament titles in his 13 seasons in Columbus. The Buckeyes made two Final Fours, advancing to the 2007 national championship game.
He spent last season as associate athletic director for basketball administration at Indiana, helping new Hoosiers’ head coach Mike Woodson.
He replaces LaVall Jordan who was fired on Friday after five seasons on the Bulldogs’ bench.
Butler will officially introduce Matta as head coach Wednesday at Hinkle Fieldhouse.