Patrick Klein, associate head coach of the Ohio State women’s basketball team, announced his resignation today amidst an investigation into possible violations of both university and NCAA policies. According to a statement released by the university, Klein was placed on administrative leave on July 26 and the NCAA was notified of an investigation.
“Ohio State is investigating allegations of violations of NCAA rules and university policy within the women’s basketball program,” the university said in the statement. “Ohio State is working diligently to conclude its review of this matter.”
Klein penned a letter to associate athletic director Carey Fagan detailing his reasons for the decision, also addressed to head coach Kevin McGuff and athletic director Gene Smith.
“Over the course of the last two weeks it has come to my attention that some of my actions as a coach have not adhered strictly to NCAA rules,” Klein wrote. “I’ve also been made aware that in some instances, my communications with some student-athletes have been too informal or in some cases even inappropriate, violating university policy. I apologize for these mistakes and should’ve used better judgment.”
Klein, who graduated from Ohio State in 2005, was promoted to the role of associate head coach prior to the 2016-17 season after spending five seasons as an assistant to McGuff. He was credited for his role in developing the team’s post players, such as Stephanie Mavunga — a 2018 graduate and current player for the WNBA’s Indiana Fever.
Klein said he plans to use his resignation as a chance to spend time with his family and “focus on the next chapter of [his] professional career.”
“I have a deep love for this university, both as a former student with two degrees and, for the past eight years, as an assistant coach for the women’s basketball team…” Klein wrote in his resignation letter. “It’s been my privilege to contribute to the success of our student-athletes both on the court and in the classroom.”
After a successful 2017-18 season that saw Ohio State go 28-7 — including winning the Big Ten Tournament Championship and reaching the second round of the NCAA Tournament — the program lost senior and three-time Big Ten Player of the Year Kelsey Mitchell. They struggled in their first season without the collegiate superstar, going 14-15 in 2018-19 and falling to Morehead State in the first round of the WNIT Tournament.
Ohio State will have to fill a coaching staff vacancy as it prepares for its first official contest on November 10 against Valparaiso in Springfield, Ohio. The Buckeyes face a daunting non-conference schedule in 2019, hosting both UConn and Louisville before traveling to Stanford in December. They will have to navigate through early formidable opponents and into Big Ten play without Klein. The timeline for the remainder of the investigation is currently unknown.
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