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Ohio State men’s basketball brings Buckeye legacy to staff in NBA champion Nick Kellogg

The son of former Buckeye Clark Kellogg will serve as assistant to head coach Chris Holtmann and director of scouting.

NCAA Basketball Tournament - Ohio v South Florida Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The hiring of Nick Kellogg isn’t going to move the needle a ton when it comes to college basketball news, but the addition of Kellogg could end up paying huge dividends for Ohio State’s men’s basketball program. In a way, the hiring of Kellogg almost feels like it could be a combination of what Mark Pantoni and Brian Hartline are for the football program.

The news of the hiring of Nick Kellogg registers a bit more for Ohio State fans since one of the most notable names to come out of the men’s basketball program is Clark Kellogg, who is the father of Nick. The elder Kellogg scored 1,285 points over three seasons in Columbus, and was named First Team All-Big Ten during the 1981-82 season. Kellogg was taken with the eighth pick in the 1982 NBA Draft by the Indiana Pacers. The former Buckeye finished second in Rookie of the Year voting for the 1982-83 season. Kellogg averaged 18.9 points per game over 260 games in the NBA before knee problems forced him to retire.

Kellogg slam dunks Photo by Chance Brockway Jr./NBAE via Getty Images

Nick Kellogg attended Columbus Desales before playing his college ball down in Athens at Ohio University. Not only did Kellogg play in 143 games for the Bobcats, which is tied for the most in school history, he finished his career with 1,449 points and 290 three-pointers, with the latter total being second-most in school history. In 2012, Kellogg and the Bobcats made it to the Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA Tournament before falling in overtime to North Carolina.

Even though Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann never coached Kellogg, the two are familiar with each other since Holtmann helped recruit Kellogg during his time as an assistant coach on John Groce’s staff in Athens. Kellogg arrived at the school just after Holtmann went on to take his first head coaching job at Gardner-Webb.

After he was went undrafted in the NBA Draft following his graduation from Ohio University, Kellogg spent a few years playing basketball overseas. Kellogg returned to the United States just prior to the Milwaukee Bucks’ title run in 2020-21, serving as the team’s video coordinator.

Chris Holtmann’s staff had a big hole in it following the departure of Ryan Pedon, who took the head coaching position at Illinois State. Holtmann did add former Miami (OH) head coach Jack Owens to the staff to help fill the void left by Pedon. The hiring of Kellogg will also help a lot, as Kellogg has been hired as an assistant to the head coach and director of scouting.

Ohio v Ohio State Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

The hiring of Kellogg will not only add even more energy to a young coaching staff, the former member of the Milwaukee Bucks’ staff should be able to help in recruiting just by pulling out his NBA Championship ring. Kellogg has seen up close and personal what it takes to win the biggest prize in professional basketball, so it would be a smart move for recruits and even current Buckeye basketball players to take every piece of advice and coaching they can get from the former Bobcat.

Who really knows what the end goal for Kellogg in his coaching career is, but he certainly has a great start, not only with his work for Milwaukee, now he has a position with one of the top college basketball programs in the country. This feels like a partnership that could last a while if Kellogg isn’t lured away by another program, or makes a return trip to NBA circles.

Not only does the move make sense because of the previous relationship between Holtmann and Kellogg, it also feels perfect because Kellogg’s father is such a beloved part of the Ohio State community. With the comfort level that Nick likely has in Columbus, we could see Kellogg as part of Holtmann’s staff in Columbus for a while, learning the ropes of being on staff in the college game before possibly stepping out on his own in the future, which certainly looks bright for Kellogg.