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Butler’s Chris Holtmann hired as Ohio State’s next basketball coach

The Buckeyes finally have their man.

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NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-South Regional-North Carolina vs Butler Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

After a search that was longer, and certainly crazier than expected, the Buckeyes reportedly finally have their man.

According to Adam Jardy at the Columbus Dispatch, Butler’s Chris Holtmann will be the next Ohio State coach, and will be introduced at a press conference later today. Multiple national media outlets have confirmed the report.

Then at 11:00 AM, Ohio State sent out a release making it official. Holtmann’s first press conference will be at 11 AM on Monday.

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

Holtmann wasn’t Ohio State’s first choice, as the Buckeyes went after Sean Miller, Chris Mack, and others, and then got turned down by Creighton’s Greg McDermott after he was reportedly offered the position Wednesday night. But all of that will be forgotten if Holtmann is successful in Columbus. And based on his background, there’s good reason to think he will.

It looks like Holtmanm will get a healthy contract too. Multiple reports indicate he’ll be getting an eight-year contract worth $3 million a season.

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 4 seed, their highest in program history, en route to a Sweet Sixteen appearance. He also was recognized as the Coach of the Year by last season, a particularly impressive award, given that it included coaches in D1, D2, D3 and NAIA.

Prior to working at Butler, Holtmann was an assistant at Ohio, and the head coach at Gardner-Webb.

Holtmann isn’t a huge name, but he has a ton of success recruiting the Midwest, including Ohio, and has won a lot of games in a difficult conference. After the way this search has gone, that has to be considered a win for the Buckeyes.