Earlier today, Butler’s Chris Holtmann accepted the position as new head coach of the Ohio State men’s basketball team. He replaces Thad Matta, whose 13-year run as the OSU men’s hoops head coach came to an end on June 5. Ohio State has not qualified for the NCAA Tournament the last two seasons, finishing with a 17-15 record in 2016-17. Holtmann becomes the 14th head coach in Ohio State history. With his new deal, he will make approximately $3 million per year for eight years. An introductory press conference for Holtmann will be held on June 12th.
Holtmann posted a 70-31 (.693) record as the head coach at Butler the last three seasons. The 2017 Big East Coach of the Year guided the Bulldogs to the NCAA Tournament all three years as well, making it to the Sweet 16 this past season, losing to eventual national champion North Carolina. His recruiting classes have consistently been ranked among the best in the Big East Conference. In April, Holtmann, 45, signed a contract extension with Butler through the 2024-25 campaign.
Prior to his time at Butler, Holtmann was the head coach at Gardner-Webb for three seasons (2010-13), which was his first head-coaching job. He took over an eight-win team and led it to a school Division I record 21 victories and a berth in the CollegeInsider.com postseason tournament in his final season at the school. The Runnin’ Bulldogs went 44-54 (.449) with Holtmann at the helm. Holtmann had assistant-coaching stints at Taylor University (1997-98, 1999-2003), Geneva College (1998-99), Gardner-Webb (2003-08), Ohio University (2008-10) and Butler (2013-14).
He will no longer be the biggest coaching star on his campus. That’s the position that goes to the football coach, Urban Meyer, who has led the Buckeyes to two of the three College Football Playoff events to date. Holtmann will get the chance to work on one of college basketball’s biggest stages, in the Big Ten Conference, against Hall of Famer Tom Izzo and such esteemed coaches as John Beilein, Matt Painter and Mark Turgeon.