In a whirlwind 24 hours for Ohio State, Creighton, and Butler, the Buckeyes have found their new head basketball coach. Chris Holtmann has been tabbed today as the new OSU head basketball coach, with a massive 8 year $3m per year deal.
Ohio State has agreed to deal with Butler’s Chris Holtmann, sources told ESPN. It’s an 8-year deal. News conference not expected today.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) June 9, 2017
Now in their current states, Butler is easily a better job than Ohio State and it really isn’t close. However, when you look at the potential, obviously Ohio State has the capital, facilities, and name to draw big and be a premier program in the country. I will not get into the Big Ten vs Big East argument because I just don’t have the time. The move makes sense for Holtmann, he is essentially given the keys to a program that was a bit lost under Thad Matta for the past few years. He will have exponentially more resources than he did at Butler to rebuild the Buckeye program and should easily be able to build expectations and excitement around the program. Holtmann stepped into an enormously difficult situation taking over for Brad Stevens and surpassed expectations in his three seasons at Butler. He now has more time, more resources and a bigger name to do the same job at OSU.
For Ohio State, this is a homerun hire, despite it **allegedly** (innocent until proven guilty in this country) being the third Big East coach they reached out to, McDermott and Chris Mack were first. They get a great, young coach in Holtmann who can revitalize a program that desperately needs it. The biggest key to this deal is OSU is enabling Holtmann to reset. He has an 8-year deal to really rebrand and put his stamp on the program moving forward. So long as Ohio State doesn’t get impatient and “trusts the process”, the Buckeyes will be back in the conversation for Big Ten titles.
As for Butler, this one stings. In the span of four years, the Bulldogs have lost Brad Stevens and Chris Holtmann, two very good coaches. The Dawgs did a great job replacing Stevens, some may even say they got lucky, whatever it was, it worked. The question is, can they do it again? There are a few big name coaches out there like Tom Crean and Thad Matta who could be a great fit for Butler and keep them from skipping a beat. This is a roster with a plenty of talent and momentum, as they return Kamar Baldwin, Keelan Martin, and Tyler Wideman from last year’s Sweet Sixteen team. My point is that Butler shouldn’t have a problem finding a new coach, but this is a very important hire. The wrong move and they could get left behind in an ever improving Big East.