Indiana has hired legendary former Hoosier and current New York Knicks assistant Mike Woodson as its next coach, the program announced on Sunday. Woodson will replace Archie Miller, who was fired this month after failing to reach the NCAA Tournament in four seasons on the job.
Woodson, 63, is an Indiana native who scored more than 2,000 points in his college career while playing for legendary coach Bob Knight. He then played for over a decade in the NBA and has spent the last 25 years as an NBA coach.
The Hoosiers reportedly targeted Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens and Ohio State Chris Holtmann before turning to Woodson, who has never coached in college basketball. Woodson has been a head coach, though, as he led the Hawks from 2004 to 2010 and was head coach of the Knicks from 2012 to 2014.
Though Woodson’s lack of college coaching experience stands out, he will have a Big Ten veteran around to assist. Former Ohio State coach Thad Matta will join Indiana’s athletic department as associate athletic director for men’s basketball administration, CBS Sports’ Matt Norlander has confirmed.
Having Matta as a sounding board could be a valuable resource for Woodson as he navigates the minefield of NCAA recruiting rules and other unique challenges of college basketball.
Woodson averaged 19.8 points per game during his four-year Indiana career even though there was no 3-point line. He was selected 12th overall in the 1980 NBA Draft.
Woodson will became just the latest storied former college player to accept the head coaching job at his alma mater despite lacking collegiate head coaching experience.
Michigan is thriving under second-year Juwan Howard, Georgetown just reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time under fourth-year coach Patrick Ewing and Memphis under third-year coach Penny Hardaway.