Ross Bjork, the incoming Ohio State athletic director, has already made his first significant decision before officially stepping foot on campus. Bjork announced today via X that Jake Diebler, the current interim head coach, will have the “interim” label removed from his title, making him the 16th head basketball coach in Ohio State men’s basketball history.

Diebler, a native Ohioan, hails from a basketball-centric family deeply rooted in the Buckeye state. His father, Keith, enjoyed a successful tenure as a high school coach, while his younger brother Jon holds the prestigious title of all-time leading three-point shooter in Ohio State program history. The Diebler family’s profound connection to basketball in Ohio underscores Jake’s profound understanding and passion for the sport within the state.

Diebler’s journey to the head coaching position at Ohio State has been marked by dedication and experience. Following a collegiate playing career in Valparaiso, Indiana, Diebler embarked on his coaching odyssey at his alma mater. Subsequently, he ventured to the SEC, spending three seasons at Vanderbilt before returning home to join Chris Holtmann’s staff in 2019. Six seasons later, Diebler finds himself stepping into the spotlight as the head coach, a testament to his leadership and resilience, particularly evident during his interim tenure following Holtmann’s departure.

Under Diebler’s guidance, the Buckeyes experienced a remarkable turnaround, clinching victories in five of their final six regular-season games, including a notable upset over #2 ranked Purdue and a road victory against Michigan State. With a 6-2 record overall, Diebler propelled Ohio State firmly onto the NCAA Tournament bubble, though many experts speculate they may secure a berth in the NIT postseason tournament instead.

Diebler’s appointment as head coach isn’t solely based on his recent successes but also on his potential to sustain the team’s momentum and nurture its burgeoning talent. Crucially, Diebler’s ability to retain key players such as sophomores Bruce Thornton, Roddy Gayle Jr., and Felix Okpara will be instrumental in Ohio State’s future success. Keeping these promising young athletes within the program will be pivotal in avoiding a substantial rebuilding phase via the transfer portal this offseason.

Notably, Bjork’s decision to appoint Diebler was heavily influenced by the resounding support of Buckeye Nation. A groundswell of backing for Diebler flooded social media channels, underscoring the widespread desire within the fanbase to see him at the helm. This grassroots support undoubtedly played a pivotal role in Bjork’s decision-making process.

Make sure you read the replies from Buckeye Nation.

The official announcement of Diebler’s appointment will take place tomorrow at an event open to the public at the Schottenstein Center, beginning at 1 pm. This ceremony marks the dawn of a new era for Ohio State basketball, one where Diebler’s deep-seated passion for the game and his unwavering commitment to the Buckeye state are poised to lead the team to new heights.