Chris Holtmann Named Next Ohio State Basketball Coach
The Ohio State Buckeyes have hired Butler’s Chris Holtmann as its next men’s basketball coach.
Holtmann will be the fourteenth coach in program history, succeeding Thad Matta who was let go on Monday after thirteen seasons with the program.
Holtmann signed an eight-year contract work approximately $3.1 million per year, up from just over $1 million he made annually at Butler.
In three seasons as the Butler Bulldogs head coach, Holtmann amassed a 70-31 record, making the NCAA tournament all three seasons. In the 2016/17 season, Butler finished 25-9, second in the Big East, and reached the Sweet 16 with Holtmann being named the 2017 Big East Coach of the Year.
Earlier in the week, both Xavier’s Chris Mack and the Chicago Bull’s Fred Hoiberg both publically removed their names from the coaching search, also opting to stay in their current role.
Creighton’s Greg McDermott was offered the job Wednesday evening but opted to stay in Omaha, Nebraska. Less than 24 hours later rumors were swirling that Holtmann was the new frontrunner for the Ohio State job.
McDermott’s turning down the job may just be a blessing in disguise for the Ohio State program. While McDermott has won twice as many games as he has lost as a head coach he has never led a team to the second weekend of the NCAA tournament. Holtmann did that in his third season at Butler.
The biggest drawback to the June hiring is the timing. Holtmann will need to assemble a coaching staff ahead of the July recruiting window. With just nine scholarship players going into the next season, the Buckeyes have plenty of room to make moves.
Many are linking Massillon native and Butler-commit Kyle Young as following Holtmann to Columbus. Young, a four-star recruit and Top 100 prospect in the 2017 class, committed to Butler after a visit last August but also showed interest in Ohio State despite never making an official campus visit.
In spite of the awkward and unconventional timing of the coaching search, Ohio State may have found the perfect fit for the program. Holtmann hasn’t only proven himself a successful coach in a major conference, he has strong Midwestern ties and has proven himself able to recruit in the state of Ohio.
Chris Holtmann is expected to be formally introduced as the new coach on Monday.