Ohio State Basketball Hires Butler Coach Chris Holtmann

The Buckeyes didn’t take long to fill their coaching vacancy. It was announced on Friday that Butler’s Chris Holtmann will become the next Ohio State men’s basketball coach.

Holtmann coached for three seasons at Gardner-Webb before he left for Butler, where he was awarded Big East Coach of the Year last season and led the Bulldogs to the Sweet 16. He signed an eight-year deal with the Buckeyes worth $3 million per season.

Earlier this week, Ohio State fired Thad Matta, who had been helming the team since 2004. Last season, the Buckeyes stumbled to a 17-15 record and missed the NCAA tournament for the second straight year, so Holtmann will have his work cut out for him.


“Chris is focused on academics, is a high-integrity person, a relentless recruiter with Midwestern ties and a proven winner,” Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said in a statement.


Holtmann, 45, will be formally introduced as the replacement for Thad Matta at a news conference Monday.


Holtmann was at Butler for four seasons, the last three as head coach during which he had a 70-31 mark. The Bulldogs reached the NCAA tournament in each of his three seasons in charge, winning 25 games and advancing to the Sweet 16 last season.


“Chris is a tremendous basketball coach, but more importantly, he is a great man who has led our program well and embodied The Butler Way during his time with us,” Butler athletic director Barry Collier said in a statement.

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