Ohio State Assistant Coach Ryan Pedon Hired As New Illinois State Head Coach

By Griffin Strom on March 4, 2022 at 3:53 pm
Ryan Pedon

Ryan Pedon will be moving on from the Ohio State program after this season.

The five-year assistant coach on Chris Holtmann's coaching staff has been hired as the new head coach at Illinois State, a source confirmed to Eleven Warriors after an initial report by the Columbus Dispatch.

Illinois State officially announced the hire on Friday afternoon.

“I am extremely excited to be joining the Redbird family,” Pedon said in a statement. "My family and I have been committed to finding the right fit all along. Simply stated, Illinois State checks every one of our boxes. Great people, strong academics, a highly competitive environment, a proud alumni base, and a campus/community that will allow us to recruit at a high level. The tradition of Illinois State Men's Basketball is well-documented, and we will embrace this at every level. My family and I are so grateful for this opportunity and look forward to building something very special at Illinois State.”

Holtmann recently said Pedon, a Bexley, Ohio, native and Miami (Ohio) graduate, has turned down multiple head coaching offers to remain with Ohio State, but thought it would be difficult to keep him on staff for much longer. Holtmann's hunch was right, as his longtime coworker at both Ohio State (2017-22) and Butler (2015-17) is headed elsewhere.

Holtmann told Eleven Warriors that he's "so happy" for Pedon, and called the opening at Illinois a "great first job."

The Redbirds went 13-19 this past season, and 11-15 under 10-year coach Dan Muller before he was fired last month. Muller was replaced by interim head coach Brian Jones, but Pedon will take over the reins after Ohio State's postseason run has concluded.

Pedon has coached in the state of Illinois before, having served as the assistant to John Groce – a college teammate of Holtmann's at Taylor – at Illinois from 2013-15.

As offensive coordinator for the Buckeyes, Pedon has helped make the Ohio State offense the strength of the team this season. Per KenPom, the Buckeyes rank No. 11 in the country in offensive efficiency this season.

Under Pedon's tutelage, Buckeye forward E.J. Liddell has become one of the top players in the conference and in the country, as a first-team All-Big Ten performer in 2020-21 and a Big Ten Player of the Year candidate this season.

Pedon was also instrumental in building Ohio State's 2022 recruiting class, which is the top-rated group in Holtmann's tenure with the Buckeyes. The five-player class ranks No. 5 in the country and No. 1 in the Big Ten, with four four-star prospects having signed to Ohio State in the class.

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