UGA Basketball

Georgia appears a step closer to landing its next head coach

Georgia has reportedly offered Thad Matta its head coaching job.
Georgia has reportedly offered Thad Matta its head coaching job. AP

Georgia has zeroed in on its top candidate to be its next head men's basketball coach.

The Bulldogs have extended an offer to Thad Matta to take over the position, The Telegraph has confirmed through a person with knowledge of the situation. Matta was most recently with Ohio State from 2004-17 and directed the Buckeyes to nine NCAA Tournament appearances, five Sweet 16s, three Elite Eights and two Final Fours.

The story was first reported by Jon Rothstein of the FanRag Sports Network.

Matta met with Georgia officials Monday and was spotted by the Athens Banner-Herald at the Athens-Ben Epps Airport boarding a plane for Indianapolis. Matta will apparently decide within the next 24 hours if he will take the Georgia job or not. One thing working in his favor is that Matta's brother, Greg Matta, is the head basketball coach at North Cobb Christian School.

Georgia athletics director Greg McGarity did not immediately return comment as for whether an offer was extended to Matta or not.

If Matta does take the job, he will replace Mark Fox, who held the position for the past nine seasons. While Fox was credited with running a clean program and becoming competitive within the SEC, his teams only reached the NCAA Tournament twice during his tenure. In addition, Fox was never able to win an NCAA Tournament game with the Bulldogs.

Fox was fired Saturday after failing to lead Georgia to the NCAA Tournament for a third consecutive season. The Bulldogs' players elected to decline an invitation to the NIT following the decision.

During his Sunday news conference, Fox said McGarity needed to form a closer "partnership" with whomever the next head coach happens to be.

"That’s probably one where we agree to disagree," Fox said. "He asked me if there was something I could tell him to help moving forward, and I just told him that you need to have a partnership with somebody. I don’t have any ill-will towards anybody, I really don’t, but I think that’s important for this program to take the next step."