Ohio State Basketball: Interim Tag Removed, Jake Diebler Named 18th Buckeye Head Coach

Ohio State Basketball Head Coach Jake Diebler | (AP Photo/Paul Vernon)

The Ohio State basketball head coaching search is complete as Athletic Director Ross Bjork removes the interim tag from Jake Diebler.

This news about Jake Diebler was first reported by The Ohio State Hoops Insider and later confirmed by Adam Jardy of the Columbus Dispatch and Jeff Goodman of The Field of 68.

Diebler took over as the Interim Head Coach on February 14th after Chris Holtmann was relieved of his duties following a 62-54 loss to Wisconsin. Since taking over, Jake Diebler has led the Buckeyes to a 6-2 record with victories of No. 2 Purdue and Nebraska at home, and Michigan State on the road to help put Ohio State back into the NCAA Tournament conversation.

Unfortunately, they look to have fallen short of making it to the Big Dance unless they are announced in the field Sunday evening. But their postseason hopes look to not have been destroyed, as they are expected to accept an invite to the National Invitational Tournament. Ohio State will find out its opponent on Sunday evening at 9:30 PM EST.

Diebler has been an assistant coach for the past thirteen years at various college programs. First, he was a student assistant at his alma mater Valparaiso for a singular season in 2009. Later, he was named the Director of Basketball Operations at Valparaiso in 2010, before being named an assistant coach in 2011, taking over for Bryce Drew who was named head coach.

He was on the staff that led Valpo to the NCAA Tournament in 2013 after winning the Horizon League Championship. Diebler left Valparaiso to become the Video Coordinator for Ohio State under Thad Matta in 2014. However, he returned to coaching as he was reunited with Bryce Drew at Vanderbilt in 2016 for three seasons. In his time with the Commodores, Diebler was the main recruiter for former five-star and NBA starting point guard Darius Garland.

Bryce Drew and his staff were let go after the 2019 season after a disappointing three seasons in Nashville. Diebler made his way back to Ohio State and has been with the team since 2019 in an assistant role.

His father Keith is the current Head Coach at Danbury High School, and his brother Jon is the Buckeye’s all-time leader in three-pointers. Currently, Jon is Butler’s Director of Recruiting under former Buckeye Head Coach Thad Matta. He said in several articles that part of his family resided in Columbus, so he always loved the city when he would visit.

Jake has changed the culture of the program since mid February and will look to improve the team next season and bring Ohio State back to the NCAA Tournament. This will not be an easy feat though for Coach Diebler, but a challenge that he has faced since mid season.

Diebler goes into next season projecting to only lose three players, but the players have been crucial to the team’s success. Zed Key, Dale Bonner, and Jamison Battle have all been a huge part of this team this season and especially for Key, as he has been a Buckeye fan favorite since he was a freshman.

Barring anyone entering the transfer portal the Buckeyes should retain eleven players and gain two players in the recruiting class as four-star Juni Mobley and three-star Colin White look to join the program next season. Diebler’s journey to bring Ohio State back to the promise land starts now after a well deserved promotion.