clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Ohio State men’s basketball coach Chris Holtmann clears the air on how he left Butler

The new Buckeye head coach tries to dispell some of the criticism he has received for leaving for Ohio State.

NCAA Basketball: Butler at Georgetown Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

It’s easy to understand how Butler fans can get frustrated at constantly seeing their coaches use the program as a stepping stone to higher profile jobs. Last month Chris Holtmann was hired as Ohio State’s head coach after the Buckeyes parted ways with Thad Matta, who coached at Butler before heading to Xavier for three seasons before making his way to Ohio State. Todd Lickliter coached Butler for six seasons before leaving for Iowa. After Lickliter came Brad Stevens, who took the program to two straight national title games before eventually moving on to the Boston Celtics. All Holtmann did for Butler was lead them to three NCAA Tournament appearances in three seasons, and earn 2017 Big East Coach of the Year honors.

After a Butler Hoops article critical of the way Holtmann left last month got back to Holtmann, the new Ohio State head coach wanted to set the record straight. Holtmann cleared up a tweet he sent in June about getting ready for this year’s Butler team, saying at the time he sent the tweet he had already turned down a meeting with Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith and was leaning towards staying with Butler.

Holtmann also described the process of not only bringing his three assistant coaches from Butler with him to Ohio State, but also how Kyle Young followed him to Ohio State. Young had already been considering Ohio State during his recruitment, and with assistant coach Ryan Pedon coming to Columbus with Holtmann, it pretty much sealed the deal that Young wouldn’t be going to Butler.

Holtmann did give Butler fans a reason to be excited about the future, as he had high praise for new head coach LaVall Jordan. Also, Holtmann was complimentary about the resources and the fans at Butler. While it was a tough decision for Holtmann to make in the end, the opportunity to move on to Ohio State was just too much for him to pass up.

Being one of the best teams in the country brings with it plenty of preseason honors, and it was no different earlier today when six Buckeyes were named to the FWAA Outland Trophy and Bronko Nagurski Trophy watch lists. The Outland Trophy is awarded annually to the nation’s outstanding interior lineman, while the Bronko Nagurski Trophy is awarded to the national defensive player of the year.

Since its inception in 1946, four Buckeyes have won the Outland Trophy, with the most recent coming in 1996, when Orlando Pace took home the award. Offensive tackle Jamarco Jones and center Billy Price were both named to this year’s Outland Trophy watch list, along with 80 other offensive linemen and defensive tackles. Price was also named to the Rimington Trophy watch list, which is awarded to the nation’s best center.

Defensive ends Sam Hubbard, Tyquan Lewis, Nick Bosa, as well as linebacker Jerome Baker, were all named this year’s Bronko Nagurski Trophy watch list. Baker, Bosa, and Lewis were earlier named to the Bednarik Award watch list as well, which is awarded by the Maxwell Football Club to the nation’s best defensive player. The Bronko Nagurski Trophy was first awarded in 1993, and the only Buckeye to win the award was linebacker James Laurinaitis in 2006.

“Coach Richardson brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our program. He is an incredible leader and builder of young men. We look for him to make an immediate impact as we prepare for the 2018 season and beyond.”

-Ohio State men’s lacrosse coach Nick Myers via Colin Hass-Hill, The Lantern

After men’s basketball coach Thad Matta was fired last month, strength and conditioning coach was wondering what his future would hold. Richardson was hired by Matta in 2005 and spent the last 12 years with the program. Last Friday it was announced that former Indianapolis Colts performance and conditioning coach Quadrian Banks would be the new strength and conditioning coach for the men’s basketball team.

Richardson will be staying with Ohio State though, as it was announced that he is the new strength and conditioning coach for the men’s lacrosse team. While Richardson has never worked as strength and conditioning coach for a lacrosse team, he does know Myers, and what the head coach expects. Ohio State’s men’s lacrosse team just had their best season in school history, making it to the NCAA title game before falling 9-6 to Maryland. The addition of Richardson will help to ensure the Buckeyes are in top physical condition in 2018, as they look build on their success from 2017.