While following Chris Holtmann from Butler to Ohio State is certainly a business move for Ryan Pedon, it also has sentimental value.
Pedon, who was officially hired as an assistant coach on Holtmann’s staff for the Buckeye men’s basketball team on Thursday, grew up in Bexley, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus.
Pedon has spent much of his coaching career in the Buckeye State, too. He was a graduate assistant at Miami (Ohio) from 2000-02. He then served as the director of basketball operations at Kent State from 2002-05. He returned to Miami (Ohio) as an assistant from 2005-10 before joining the Toledo staff in the same role from 2010-13.
He even played college basketball in Ohio at Wooster.
So, when he got word that he was returning to his hometown, he was ecstatic.
“I’ve got upward of 400 texts that I still have to return from just the last two and a half days,” Pedon said Thursday afternoon. “But it’s, in a lot of ways, a dream come true to be a part of this program, be a part of this university and work for Chris in my hometown. I think if you would’ve written this scenario up – I started my coaching career 19 years ago – that would make anybody happy. I’m excited to be here. I’m humbled by the opportunity. I’m just excited to get this thing rolling.”
Aside from fulfilling all of his duties as an assistant coach, Pedon has one order of business he wants to take care of now that he is back in the Columbus area.
“My old man owns a restaurant with about five or six of his buddies in German Village,” he explained. “So I’m going to have to get back there and I’m going to have to give a shout out to the home pizza, the greatest pizza on earth, Rubino’s Pizza in Bexley.
“My college roommate called today from California, and he’s experienced Rubino’s. He said, ‘How many times are you going to eat Rubino’s pizza in this first month?’ I said, ‘Quite a bit.’ I’m excited to be home for a lot reasons but, obviously, knowing your surroundings is great.”
Not only does Pedon have the pleasure of returning home, he gets to be on the coaching staff of the college team he grew up watching.
“I’m 39 years year old, so I would say about 35 of those 39 years I go back (with Ohio State),” he said. “When I was a child, that is what we did as a family. We went to Ohio State football and Ohio State basketball games. Every year, we got those season tickets and opened them up. That was something I look back on my childhood quite a bit.
“Certainly being a part of watching the program develop in recent years and the transition from the St. John Arena to the Schottenstein Center and what they’ve done in recent years is awesome.”
As expected, the last week has been a whirlwind for Pedon. In the midst of constantly being on the phones with recruits and meeting with the players currently on the team, he managed to find some time to see his father.
“Sitting down with my dad and talking with him – I stopped by the house last night – it’s pretty special to be honest with you, it’s pretty special,” Pedon said. “He told me, ‘I can die a happy man now.’ There’s a side of me that really believes him and thinks that he really feels that way.”
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