Ohio State men's basketball: Promotion worth wait for Paulus

By The Columbus Dispatch  • 
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Neal C. Lauron | DISPATCH
Greg Paulus served as video coordinator on coach Thad Matta’s staff for the past two seasons.

Video coordinators do the “grunt work” on college coaching staffs.

They edit and catalog computerized video, often working into the wee hours after night games so the files will be ready when the coach and his other assistants come to work the next morning. NCAA rules prohibit them from coaching players on the court. Nor can they recruit off campus. And they don’t make the six-figure salaries the other assistants do.

Twice in the past three years, though, young up-and-comers who were assistant coaches at other schools have taken the video coordinator’s job for the Ohio State men’s basketball program.

Greg Paulus, hired two years ago from Navy, was promoted to an assistant’s position by coach Thad Matta yesterday. He replaces Chris Jent, who left his alma mater in June to return to the NBA as a Sacramento Kings assistant.

Meanwhile, Matta filled Paulus’ position with Valparaiso assistant Jake Diebler, an older brother of former Ohio State player Jon Diebler.

“Two years ago when I was hired, just an opportunity to be a part of this university, this basketball program, everything Coach Matta has done, was too good of a situation for me to pass up,” Paulus said.

“I knew it was going to be a little bit different, as it will be for Jake. There are restrictions. But to be a part of this university and all the great things that come along with it was something I thought was worth it.”

In contemplating the move, Diebler said he received “great advice” from Paulus.

“Greg talked about expanding your knowledge of basketball,” Diebler said. “When you’re on the court, you kind of lose track of some of the things off the court that need to be done. Hopefully through this, I’ll become a better and more well-rounded coach.”

Diebler is 26 and played at Fostoria and Upper Sandusky high schools in northern Ohio. He played at Valparaiso and was on the coaching staff, in one capacity or another, the past four years. Coaching at Ohio State someday has been in the back of his mind for a while.

“I’ve looked up to Coach Matta ever since my brother started playing for him, and the opportunity to be around him, be around the rest of this staff, is something I just couldn’t pass up,” he said.

By law, Ohio State had to post the job vacancies for five business days, But Matta said he told Paulus a year ago that the next staff opening was his. Without naming them, Paulus, 27, said he has turned down “other opportunities” to wait.

Also, Matta said that when he surveyed his staff for candidates to replace Paulus, Diebler’s name was “the first one out of everyone’s mouth.”

“Jake has spent a lot of time in our program. When Jon was here, if (Jake) ever had free time, he was (here) watching practice, trying to learn as much as he could about how we do it,” Matta said.

“He’s a young guy who wants to be successful. I look at Jake a lot like (he did Paulus). They’re not coming here because it’s one of the top college basketball programs in the country. They’re coming here to make the program better, and that’s what I’m looking for. A lot of people just want to show up here and be a part of it. I want guys that want to be difference-makers.”

bbaptist@dispatch.com

@BBaptistHoops

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