He may not have been their first choice. Or their second choice. But according to recent reports, the Buckeyes may have zeroed in on their next choice to replace Thad Matta as Ohio State’s basketball coach.
Per multiple media reports, Ohio State’s top target appears to be Butler’s Chris Holtmann.
Butler’s Chris Holtmann has emerged as the frontrunner for the Ohio State job, sources told ESPN.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) June 9, 2017
Ohio State has zeroed in on Butler's Chris Holtmann, per a source. Deal could be done as early as Friday.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) June 9, 2017
Plus, the Butler beat writer for the Indy Star tweeted that the two are “in talks”, although nothing is finalized yet.
BREAKING: Source confirms #Butler's Chris Holtmann in talks with Ohio State to become its new basketball coach. Not done yet, source says.— David Woods (@DavidWoods007) June 9, 2017
Holtmann has done a solid job at Butler, racking up a 70-31 record over the last three seasons, each of which resulted in a trip to the NCAA Tournament. Last year, the Bulldogs earned a four seed, their highest in program history, en route to a Sweet Sixteen appearance.
Prior to working at Butler, Holtmann was an assistant at Ohio, and the head coach at Gardner-Webb, where he led them to a CIT bid. He left Gardner-Webb to serve as an assistant at Butler.
Given how chaotic this coaching search has been, ending up with a successful, consistent coach with midwestern recruiting ties and a record of developing and evaluating talent well seems like it would be a great result for Ohio State.