Ohio State Selects New Head Basketball Coach

Chris Holtmann is leaving Butler to become the next men's basketball coach at Ohio State, the university announced Friday.

Holtmann, who completed his third year with the Bulldogs in 2016-17, agreed to an eight-year contract with Ohio State worth about $3 million annually, Buckeyes athletic director Gene Smith said. 

Final details of the deal were being finalized. Smith said Holtmann fit the criteria he sought for the 14th head coach in Ohio State history.

"Chris is focused on academics, is a high-integrity person, arelentless recruiter with Midwestern ties and a proven winner,"Smith said in a statement.

Holtmann replaces Thad Matta, who was the winningest coach in program history but surprisingly pushed out after 13 years on Monday. 

In three seasons at Butler, Holtmann compiled a record of 70-31 as a member of the Big East conference. In six years as a head coach, which includes three years at Gardner-Webb (44-54), his career record is 114-85. Holtmann's teams have won at least 20 games in each of the last four seasons, including a 25-9 record at Butler last season. Butler advanced to the NCAA Tournament in all three seasons with Holtmann as the head coach. Holtman was the 2016-17 Big East Coach of the Year, the 2013 Big South Conference Coach of the Year and a Naismith National Coach of the Year finalist in 2014-15.

Creighton head coach Greg McDermott met with Ohio State officials on Wednesday night and appeared to be leading candidate for the Buckeyes. But McDermott announced Thursday he was staying at Creighton. Holtmann emerged as the front-runner Thursday afternoon. 

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