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Details Are Emerging From Thad Matta's Shocking Return

A closeup of Thad Matta during an Ohio State basketball game.

GAINESVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 16: Coach Thad Matta of the Ohio State Buckeyes directs play against the Florida Gators November 16, 2010 at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center in Gainesville, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

Butler pulled off a surprise on Sunday morning when it announced the hiring of Thad Matta as its new men's basketball coach.

The 54-year-old Matta has not coached since the 2016-17 season, his final one at Ohio State. He stepped down in June 2017 due to health issues.

Now, he's on his way back to the sideline at his alma mater, and

Word in the industry back in February was that Butler had sounded out a potential return for Thad Matta, and there didn't seem to be much momentum for it. Perhaps he would come back to Butler, but not in a coaching role. Things began to shift on Friday, though, and now he's back.

— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) April 3, 2022

">according to ESPN's Jeff Borzello, Matta's return has been in the works for over a month. "Word in the industry back in February was that Butler had sounded out a potential return for Thad Matta, and there didn't seem to be much momentum for it," Borzello tweeted. "Perhaps he would come back to Butler, but not in a coaching role. Things began to shift on Friday, though, and now he's back."

Stadium's Jeff Goodman reported Sunday that he has spoken with Matta recently and the Butler alum feels "terrific" in regards to his health.

Thad Matta played at Butler from 1987-90 and had two separate stints as an assistant with the Bulldogs from 1991-94 and 1997-2000. He then became Butler's head coach for the 2000-01 season, leading the program to a 24-8 record and NCAA second round appearance.

Matta left Butler for Xavier and took the Musketeers to three-straight NCAA tournaments, including an Elite Eight appearance in 2003-04. He then moved on to Ohio State, where he posted a 337-123 overall record in 13 seasons.

With the Buckeyes, Matta made trips to the Final Four in 2007 and 2012, finishing as the runner-up in his first appearance. He also led OSU to the Elite Eight in 2013 and nine NCAA Tournament appearances overall, plus an NIT championship in 2008.