Terence Dials to replace Scoonie Penn on Ohio State men's basketball staff

Adam Jardy
New Ohio State assistant men’s basketball coach Terence Dials, right, was named Big Ten player of the year as a Buckeyes senior in 2006. [Dispatch file photo]

The Ohio State men’s basketball team has replaced one former Big Ten player of the year on its coaching staff with another.

After losing director of player development Scoonie Penn to an NBA assistant coaching job, coach Chris Holtmann has named Terence Dials as Penn’s replacement.

Dials, the 2005-06 Big Ten player of the year as a senior on a team that went 28-6 and handed Thad Matta his first Big Ten title, will assume a position that focuses on helping team members develop professional relationships and prepare them for the eventual transition from their playing careers.

Dials’ official title will be director of professional development; the position is a non-coaching role.

“I couldn’t be happier to be a part of a program that gave me the opportunity to live my dream,” Dials said in a statement released by the university.

“Helping grow these young men who represent our university is an honor. I can’t wait to jump right in and be part of the basketball staff at Ohio State. I hope I can share my experiences to help the team and I can’t wait to learn a ton from everyone on staff.”

In the role, Dials primarily will assist in providing and setting up professional development and community service opportunities for the team, according to OSU’s release.

He will work with the Eugene D. Smith Leadership Institute and help arrange internships and various other personal and career growth initiatives while also providing academic support.

Last weekend, as the men’s basketball team hosted a pair of top-50 recruits in Moses Moody and Lance Ware, Dials was among the gaggle of support staff that accompanied them to Ohio Stadium for the season-opening football game.

Dials, 36, was first reported as the front-runner for the job by The Dispatch shortly after Penn’s departure for a position with the Memphis Grizzlies was announced last month.

Dials, a graduate of Boardman High School, near Youngstown, played professionally overseas for nine years upon his graduation from OSU. He has been around the program, lives in the Columbus area and in 2015 was inducted into the Ohio State athletics hall of fame.

The 6-foot-9 Dials started all but one game during his final three seasons with the Buckeyes and averaged 11.9 points and 6.6 rebounds for his career.

As a senior, Dials averaged 15.3 points and a career-high 8.0 rebounds. He finished fifth in program history in rebounds (876) and 14th in scoring (1,566 points).

Dials was the first Ohio State player to be named Big Ten player of the year since Penn took home the award in 1999.

“We are excited to add him to our staff,” Holtmann said. “His outstanding work as a student-athlete here, as well as his experience in sales and business after his professional playing career ended, will be beneficial in his role with our players.”

Holtmann also announced two new program assistants: Robbie Rucki and former player and graduate assistant Andrew Dakich will help with administrative tasks such as helping run camps and clinics as well as gameday events.

In a recent interview, Holtmann said the positions are not expected to last beyond a year or two and are designed to help someone like Dakich get started in the coaching profession.


Listen to the BuckeyeXtra Basketball podcast: