Men's Basketball

Ohio State Hires Jake Diebler as Men’s Basketball Head Coach

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio State men’s basketball program has found its next head coach, retaining interim head coach Jake Diebler.

Below is the full release from Ohio State.

Jake Diebler Named Ohio State Head Coach

Diebler, the 15th head coach in men’s basketball program history, will have a five-year contract

 COLUMBUS, Ohio – Senior Advisor for Intercollegiate Athletics Ross Bjork today announced the hiring of Jake Diebler as head coach of the Ohio State men’s basketball program. Diebler, who becomes the 15th head coach in program history, will receive a five-year contract.

“Jake Diebler possesses all of the characteristics we were seeking as we conducted a very comprehensive and thorough search for a new head coach,” Bjork said. “Those include coaching ability, passion, energy, program knowledge, character, integrity and ties to Ohio. As an Ohio native, the son of a longtime Ohio high school coach and with deep connections to Ohio State, Jake knows what it takes to lead this program on a championship course.

“I’d like to thank Dan Cloran, our executive associate athletic director who oversees the men’s basketball program, for his efforts throughout our search.”

Diebler, the first Ohioan to be named Ohio State’s head coach in 35 years, is in his eighth season at Ohio State. He was named the interim head coach on Feb. 14 and led the Buckeyes to a 6-2 record over the last month of the season. The first of those six wins came in his first game as the interim coach and in stunning fashion, over No. 2 Purdue on Feb. 19. Ohio State lost at Minnesota in its next game, but then won five consecutive games: at Michigan State, vs. Nebraska, vs. Michigan, at Rutgers and over Iowa in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament.

The team played a terrific quarterfinal game against Big Ten tourney finalist Illinois only to lose, 77-74, on Friday. The Buckeyes are 21-13 overall.

“Throughout the search, every time we analyzed what was best for the program, our decision kept leading right back to Jake,” Bjork said. “The way he has led the program since February 14 has been exemplary and is only the beginning of what lies ahead for Buckeye Basketball. The future is exciting, and I cannot wait to watch him lead this program.”

“Our Buckeyes have rallied and shown true grit on the court with Coach Diebler, who has exhibited impressive leadership with the team,” said President Walter “Ted” Carter Jr. “In addition to his multiple wins since being named interim head coach, he’s been an inspiration to the players. I’ve gotten to know Jake and I’m confident he will continue to lead the team admirably.”

Diebler first worked with Ohio State basketball in 2014, spending three seasons as a video coordinator on Thad Matta’s staff. After three seasons as an assistant coach at Vanderbilt, he returned to Ohio State as an assistant coach under Chris Holtmann prior to the 2019-20 season. He was then promoted to associate head coach before the 2021-22 season.

“It’s a blessing and a privilege to serve this program and I’m excited for this opportunity,” Diebler said. “I’d like to thank Ross Bjork and President Carter for believing in me and the vision that I have moving forward. Ohio State basketball is special and means so much to me and my family. I look forward to serving the entire Ohio State basketball family as best as I possibly can.”

Diebler’s stellar high school career included three seasons at Fostoria High School and one at Upper Sandusky High School, and he is still the OHSAA career leader in assists and steals. He then played four seasons at Valparaiso from 2006-09 for head coach Homer Drew. Known as one of the hardest workers in the program, Diebler set a Valparaiso Division I record by starting every one of the Crusaders’ 98 games over his final three seasons. He also had a string of 278 consecutive minutes played over seven games in the final half of his senior season.

After graduating with his marketing degree in 2009, he spent three more seasons at Valparaiso, one as a graduate assistant and two as an assistant coach under Bryce Drew. He then joined Drew at Vanderbilt from 2016-19, serving as assistant coach for three seasons.

While at Ohio State in the role of video coordinator, he helped mentor Aaron Craft, the 2014 National Defensive Player of the Year, and D’Angelo Russell, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft and 2015 first-team All-American.

Coaching runs deep in the Diebler family. His father Keith coached high school basketball in Ohio for almost 40 years, while his older brother Jeremiah coached high school basketball as well. His younger brother Jon is currently the director of recruiting at Butler University.

Jake and his wife, the former Jordyn Ellwood, from Columbus and an Ohio State graduate, have two young daughters, Jaymes and Jessa and a young son, Jackson. The couple is expecting a fourth child this July.

Photo via Ohio State Dept. of Athletics. 

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