Ohio State has officially promoted Jake Diebler to the role of full-time head coach.

Diebler served as Ohio State’s interim after the program parted ways with Chris Holtmann earlier this season. The Buckeyes won 6 of their final 8 games with Diebler in charge. That stretch included 3 wins over teams who are expected to make the NCAA Tournament as well as a second-round victory in the Big Ten Basketball Tournament.

Incoming athletic director Ross Bjork made the hire official on Sunday afternoon.

“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 in a press release. “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.

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Ohio State is not expected to make the NCAA Tournament this year because of early-season struggles, but the Buckeyes were one of the more efficient teams in the country during Diebler’s time as interim. Per BartTorvik, Ohio State has been the No. 12 team in the entire nation since Feb. 14. The 11 teams rated better than OSU over that stretch are a made up almost entirely of Final Four contenders:

  • Houston
  • UConn
  • Auburn
  • Creighton
  • Iowa State
  • Nebraska
  • Arizona
  • North Carolina
  • Duke
  • Tennessee
  • Purdue

Ohio State also has head-to-head wins over two of those 11 teams (Nebraska and Purdue) with Diebler in charge. Diebler specifically improved things on the defensive end of the floor. Ohio State is 13th nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency with Diebler in charge, per BartTorvik. During Holtmann’s time at Ohio State this season, the Buckeyes ranked 97th in that category.

Bjork said that the way Ohio State has played since Diebler took over on Feb. 14 had a major impact on the decision to promote him.

“Throughout the search, every time we analyzed what was best for the program, our decision kept leading right back to Jake,” Bjork added in a release. “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.”

Diebler, 37, is a native of Gidsonburg, Ohio. He’s been on staff with Ohio State since 2019. His previous coaching experience includes time at Vanderbilt and Valparaiso, which is his alma mater. He does not have any prior head coaching experience. He thanked Ohio State’s administration for the opportunity in the program’s official announcement.

“It’s a blessing and a privilege to serve this program and I’m excited for this opportunity,” Diebler said in a statement. “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 and Ohio State will presumably be in action again soon with the NIT looming.

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