PITTSBURGH, PA - MARCH 19: Head coach Chris Holtmann of the Butler Bulldogs talks to Alex Barlow #3 in the first half against the Texas Longhorns during the second round of the 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Consol Energy Center on March 19, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Photo: Jared Wickerham
Photo: Jared Wickerham

Butler’s Chris Holtmann named new men’s basketball coach at Ohio State

Ohio State announced Friday morning it has hired former Butler head coach Chris Holtmann for the same position with the Buckeyes. 

»RELATED: 7 things to know about new OSU coach Chris Holtmann

ESPN’s Jeff Goodman and John Rothstein of CBS Sports reported late Thursday night Ohio State had targeted Holtmann and would like to have a deal completed Friday.

Although contract terms were still being finalized at the time of the announcement, Holtmann is set to make an average of $3 million annually during an eight-year deal. 

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

Holtmann is set to be introduced with a press conference Monday morning. 

Since Ohio State and veteran coach Thad Matta parted ways at the beginning of the week, Smith churned through a few candidates. 

Former Buckeye player and current assistant Chris Jent reportedly was interviewed, while Creighton’s Greg McDermott was touted as the front-runner for the job until he announced on Twitter on Thursday he was staying  with the Bluejays.

»RELATED: Where has Ohio State found its basketball coaches?

Holtmann has strong ties to the Midwest. He was an All-American at Taylor University in Indiana. He was an assistant two years at Ohio University. 

Holtmann was head coach at Gardner-Webb before joining Butler as an assistant under Brad Stevens’ replacement Brandon Miller. Miller went on medical leave during his second season as head coach and didn’t return. Holtmann was named interim head coach and led the team three consecutive NCAA tournament appearances, making the Sweet 16 last season and finishing second in the Big East twice. 

Holtmann was 70-31 in three seasons at Butler. This season the Bulldogs finished 25-9 and reached the Sweet 16.

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