This morning it was announced that beloved Butler coach Chris Holtmann would be taking the open head coaching job at Ohio State, succeeding another former Butler player and coach Thad Matta for the Buckeyes.
Holtmann was not the original target for the head coaching spot. Ohio State initially went after another Big East coach, Creighton’s Greg Mcdermott.
After initially agreeing to an extension at Butler through 2025 in April, Holtmann signed an eight year deal for $3.1 million per season at Ohio State. The previous Butler extension would have given Holtmann $1.2 million per season.
Ohio State has announced that there will be a press conference on Monday to address their new hire.
In his three years as Head Coach at Butler, Chris Holtmann boasted a 70-31 record and made the tournament and advanced to at least the second round every year. Last year, Butler received a 4-seed (the school’s highest ever NCAA tournament seeding) and advanced to the sweet sixteen where they lost to the eventual national champion North Carolina Tarheels. Holtmann won Big East coach of the year last season.
The new job came as a surprise to many, including Bulldog fans. Two days prior to the decision, Holtmann tweeted:
“Team #120 arrives in 2 weeks!An important summer!”
Known for his defensive proficiency, Holtmann likely will bring an end to the Buckeyes’ current two year tournament drought. With ESPN Top 100 Freshman big man Kaleb Wesson coming to the team and retaining Senior leading scorer Jae’sean Tate, the Buckeyes should be in good shape for next year with the addition of Holtmann.
Holtmann should have a positive impact on Ohio State recruiting, and act as yet another draw for big time Freshmen. More immediately, it will be interesting to see how Holtmann departure effects Butler’s incoming recruiting class. Butler’s Top recruit is from Ohio and was deciding between the Dawgs and the Buckeyes. His 247Sports Crystal Ball was 86% OSU and just 14% Butler at the time of his commitment to Holtmann and the Bulldogs.
Since the breaking news this morning, two Butler recruits have reassured fans that they are staying. Cooper Neese, who committed to Butler in December of 2015, and Jerald Gillens-Butler, who committed in November of last year have both confirmed that they will be heading to Indianapolis next year. Coaching staff and fans still await the confirmation from the last three recruits, Aaron Thompson, Christian David, and Young, who also are Butler’s top commits.
Holtmann’s departure opens up a lot of questions for Butler’s upcoming season and seasons to come. There has been no news of prospective hires for the Dawgs.
Photo Credit: SI.com