Chris Holtmann Agrees to Ohio State Contract After Thad Matta's Exit

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured Columnist

MILWAUKEE, WI - MARCH 18:  Heah coach Chris Holtmann of the Butler Bulldogs reacts in the first half against the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament at BMO Harris Bradley Center on March 18, 2017 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Former Butler Bulldogs boss Chris Holtmann agreed to an eight-year contract with Ohio State, filling the Buckeyes' vacant head coaching position, the program announced on June 9Adam Jardy of the Columbus Dispatch first reported the news.

On Tuesday, Eric Seger of Eleven Warriors reported Holtmann's incentive-laden contract includes a $850,000 base salary, $825,000 in Nike apparel and shoe equipment, $1.315 million from media promotions and PR, and $10,000 for appearances for Coca-Cola.

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

Holtmann later tweeted out a statement on the move to Ohio State:

ESPN.com's Goodman and Jeff Borzello first reported on June 8 that Holtmann had emerged as the leading candidate to take over at Ohio State after Thad Matta and the Buckeyes parted ways on June 5. 

Holtmann spent four seasons at Butler, including the last three as head coach. During that stretch, the Bulldogs went 70-31 and made three straight NCAA tournament appearances. 

However, it wasn't until this past spring that Holtmann and the Bulldogs were able to advance to the second weekend of the Big Dance thanks to a Round of 64 win against the Winthrop Eagles and Round of 32 triumph over the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders. 

Those victories set up a Sweet 16 date against the North Carolina Tar Heels, who went on to win the national championship after dispatching Butler 92-80 in regional semifinal action. 

Holtmann will now head to a Buckeyes program that's seeking a return to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2015. 

Needless to say, the 45-year-old will have his work cut out for him. 

Not only will Holtmann be tasked with implementing a new culture and scheme following Matta's departure, but he'll also have to do so after missing out on a 2017 recruiting cycle that wasn't kind to the Buckeyes. 

According to Scout.com, Ohio State's top 2017 recruit ranks 80th overall among players in his class. 

Fighting against time, Holtmann will be hard-pressed to build the Buckeyes into a legitimate Big Ten contender for the 2017-18 season.

But if his track record at Butler was any indication, it shouldn't be long before wins start to pile up in concert with a move up the conference pecking order.

Related

    Sullinger Drops 20 in Win at the Basketball Tournament

    Ohio State Basketball logo
    Ohio State Basketball

    Sullinger Drops 20 in Win at the Basketball Tournament

    Tyler Conway
    via Bleacher Report

    Celtics' Assistant Allegedly Took Bribes as Penn HC

    College Basketball logo
    College Basketball

    Celtics' Assistant Allegedly Took Bribes as Penn HC

    Kyle Newport
    via Bleacher Report

    5-Star PG Reclassifies to Class of 2019

    College Basketball logo
    College Basketball

    5-Star PG Reclassifies to Class of 2019

    ScoutHoops.com
    via ScoutHoops.com

    Ogunbowale Buzzer-Beater Wins ESPY for Play of the Year

    College Basketball logo
    College Basketball

    Ogunbowale Buzzer-Beater Wins ESPY for Play of the Year

    Kyle Newport
    via Bleacher Report