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Jeff Boals (left) coaching at Stony Brook. (photo via Stony Brook University Athletics)

Men's Basketball: Four things to know about new Ohio coach Jeff Boals

Just a few days after the announcement of a change in leadership, Ohio found a new leader.

Jeff Boals, formerly of Stony Brook, was named the head coach of the Ohio men’s basketball program Sunday afternoon. Boals takes over for Saul Phillips, who was not renewed after back-to-back losing seasons.

Here are four things to know about the new head coach of the Bobcats:

No. 19

Boals will be the 19th coach in program history on Sunday.

Phillips’ contract was not renewed after a second-straight losing season, and Boals took the job following athletic director Jim Schaus’ national search.

Boals is the fourth Ohio head coach since 2010, following John Groce, Jim Christian and Phillips.

Coming home

Boals graduated from Ohio in 1995 after a successful collegiate basketball career. The forward was a four-year letter winner and a two-time captain. He helped the Bobcats capture the 1994 MAC regular season and tournament championship en route to an NCAA Tournament bid.

In 1995, Boals helped the Bobcats win the preseason National Invitation Tournament. 

In state success

Beyond his playing days, Boals is no stranger to success in the state of Ohio. He was an assistant coach at Ohio State under Thad Matta from 2009 to 2016. During that time, the Buckeyes went to six NCAA Tournaments and reached the 2012 Final Four.

While with the Buckeyes, Boals was a defensive-minded coach who led Ohio State to gaudy national numbers. During those seven seasons in Columbus, Boals never coached a defense that allowed more than 68 points per game.

He found success on the recruiting trail, too. He recruited and coached future NBA players Jared Sullinger, D’Angelo Russell, and the 2010 National Player of the Year, Evan Turner. He also coached Aaron Craft, who holds the all-time steals record at Ohio State.

Before his time at Ohio State, Boals spent time at Akron, Robert Morris and Marshall.

Stony Brook

Boals returns to Athens from Stony Brook, where he led the Seawolves to a 55-41 record in three seasons. 

This past season, the Seawolves were 24-8 and finished as the America East runners-up before losing to Binghamton in the conference tournament.


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