Thad Matta returned to Columbus on Friday as a Hall of Famer.
The former Buckeyes coach was inducted into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame on Friday along with nine other members of the 2019 class. Matta gave a vintage, story-filled speech, which turned out to be one of the longest of the night.
Some of the topics covered in Matta's nine-minute speech:
- He's going into the hall of fame along with former track and field athlete Stan Lyons who taught him at Butler. Matta said Lyons, who is dead, would be wondering how "the worst student I ever had in class is going into the same damn hall of fame as I am."
- He compares a coach getting inducted to a hall of fame to a turtle sitting on a fence post.
- Director of basketball operations David Egelhoff still keeps his passwords.
- He calls Greg Oden the most dominant player in college basketball history.
- He once kicked Evan Turner out of practice.
- He says the "cheating bastards" came after D'Angelo Russell late in the recruiting process.
- He tells his wife, Barbara, he might go streaking across campus and end up at KFC tonight.
Thad Matta with a D'Angelo Russell recruiting story.— Colin Hass-Hill (@chasshill) September 7, 2019
Right before the November signing period, the "cheating bastards started coming out and offering his family money." Russell stayed committed . "I said you're going to get it on the back end, my man. Trust me."
He was right. pic.twitter.com/B1MNkT2tnf
That's just a taste. It's worth watching the full nine minutes.
At Ohio State, Matta became the all-time program leader with 337 victories, and his teams twice advanced to the Final Four. During his 13 seasons, the Buckeyes won five regular season Big Ten championships and four conference tournament titles.
Matta, A.J. Hawk, Mike Nugent and the other seven 2019 inductees will be honored during halftime of Ohio State's game against Cincinnati on Saturday.