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The Butler men's basketball program has found itself in a very familiar situation. The Bulldogs' continued run of success over three decades has led another institution to hire away their coach once again.
Butler coach Chris Holtmann has accepted the same position at Ohio State.
A press conference reportedly will be held Monday in Columbus.
“Chris is a tremendous basketball coach, but more importantly, he is a great man who has led our program well and embodied The Butler Way during his time with us,” Butler athletic director Barry Collier said in a release this morning. “On behalf of everyone at Butler, we wish him, Lori, and Nora continued success as they make this transition.”
Holtmann has led the Bulldogs to 70 wins over the past three seasons and a pair of second place finishes in the Big East Conference.
The Bulldogs won 25 games this past season and advanced to the Sweet 16, where they fell to eventual national champion North Carolina.
Holtmann was named as the league's Coach of the Year in March.
Holtmann will reportedly sign an eight-year deal with the Buckeyes, who recently fired former Butler player and coach Thad Matta after a highly successful 13-year run in Columbus. However, Ohio State has not finished better than fifth in the Big Ten over the past four seasons.
Collier now faces the task of having to hire the seventh coach in the past 18 seasons for Butler. In each instance, Butler has promoted a current Bulldog assistant coach to the head coaching job.
The Bulldogs will be a very young squad in the 2017-18 season. Of the 14 players in the program, only five have significant college basketball experience, and six of those student-athletes have none.
“Our basketball program is among the nation's best,” Collier said, “and Butler University is committed to maintaining our competitive success on a national level, while also recruiting young men who will represent our institution well in the classroom and in the community. We will work efficiently to identify our next head coach.”
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