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Cleveland State will cast a wide net in its search for a men’s basketball coach, and former Cavaliers and current Ohio State assistant Chris Jent is among those under consideration, a source familiar with the hiring process told Amico Hoops.
Former Cleveland State coach Gary Waters announced his retirement Tuesday after 11 years with the program.
Director of Athletics Mike Thomas and his staff are getting right to work and hope to have a full list of candidates shortly after the NCAA tournament in early April, sources said.
Jent, 47, is in the first year of his second stint under Buckeyes head coach Thad Matta. Jent also served in the role from 2011-13.
Following his playing career at Ohio State (1988-92), Jent spent several years in the now-defunct Continental Basketball Association and a combined six games with the Houston Rockets and New York Knicks during the mid-1990s.
His coaching career began as an assistant with the Philadelphia 76ers in 2003-04. At the end of the next season, he served as the interim coach for the Orlando Magic.
Jent moved on to the Cavs in 2006, where he served as assistant coach and director of player development until 2011. While there, he developed a tight bond with Cavs star LeBron James and often held the role of James’ personal shooting coach.
After joining Matta’s staff the first time, Jent was an assistant with the Sacramento Kings for one year, then spent last season in his lone head coaching job with the Bakersfield Jam of the NBA D-League.
According to the Columbus Dispatch, Jent signed a three-year contract with Ohio State in April.
“Per his contract, he is allowed to discuss potential jobs at other programs only between the final day of the regular season and April 15, provided he gives the program notice,” according to the Dispatch.
As the Dispatch also noted, Jent’s son, Jimmy, is a sophomore walk-on at Ohio State.
Jent has not been informed of Cleveland State’s interest and the school does not yet have a favorite for its coaching vacancy, as the list of potential candidates is just getting started, the source said.