NORMAL — Ryan Pedon is no stranger to basketball. Pedon played basketball for the College of Wooster from 1996 to 2000. After graduating, he went to become a graduate assistant at Miami (OH) until 2002 while getting a Master’s degree in sports organization.
He would return to Miami as an assistant coach in 2005 after serving as director of basketball operations for Kent State.In 2010, Pedon left Miami for Toledo, also as an assistant. In 2013, he became an assistant at Illinois. He had two additional stints as an assistant — from 2015 until 2017 at Butler and until recently, Ohio State. It is because of that resume that he was named the 20th head coach in the Illinois State men’s basketball program. “I am extremely excited to be joining the Redbird family,” Pedon said. “I would like to thank President Kinzy, Kyle Brennan, and Mark Muhlhauser for this opportunity.”
“Illinois state checked every one of our boxes”Pedon detailed his process for taking his next step in his coaching career. “My family and I have been committed to finding the right fit all along. Simply stated, Illinois State checks every one of our boxes,” said Pedon. “Great people, strong academics, a highly competitive environment, a proud alumni base, and a campus/community that will allow us to recruit at a high level. He would elaborate further on the history of the Illinois State men’s basketball program. “We will embrace this at every level,” Pedon noted. “My family and I are so grateful for this opportunity and look forward to building something very special at Illinois State.” In 2017, Pedon made the transition to Ohio State alongside Butler head coach Chris Holtmann. In those five seasons, the Buckeyes tallied a 106-53 record. Additionally, the Buckeyes would earn an NCAA Tournament berth each season. “We could not be more excited to have Ryan Pedon as the leader of our men’s basketball program at Illinois State,” said Brennan, Illinois State’s athletic director. “We believe he is the right person to lead the men in our program and help them RISE back to the top of the Missouri Valley Conference and into the NCAA Tournament.” “Ryan has worked at respected programs and has been mentored by some tremendous coaches,” Brennan continued. “His recruiting ties to Illinois and the Midwest will be a great asset to him moving forward, and we are excited for his vision of the future of this program.”
Holtmann, Smith offers praise for PedonHoltmann and Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith couldn’t give enough praise to Pedon following the announcement Friday. “Illinois State is hiring a tremendous basketball coach and a very gifted leader,” said Holtmann. “Ryan has an incredible work ethic, tremendous basketball feel and IQ and a real vision for what he wants his program’s culture to be.” “If I was an Illinois State fan, I would be very excited about the future of the program,” Holtmann added. “I am excited for Ryan. He is an exceptional person as well as an outstanding coach. I want to thank him for all his great work at Ohio State and I know he will be missed,” Smith said. “He will do a great job at Illinois State.” Fans can welcome Coach Pedon on Monday, March 7. An open indoor event at Redbird Arena will start at 11 a.m.
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Jake Leonard, a broadcast media and journalism veteran, is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. Leonard is also GM and program director of Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network, wrestling editor and contributing writer for Ambush Sports, a contributing writer for My Sports Vote and Midwest Sports Network, and a former contributor to Bleacher Report and Overtime Heroics. He resides at home in Nokomis, Ill. with his dog Buster.