Busting Brackets

NCAA Basketball: Top 10 best coaching hires from 2024 offseason

Mar 22, 2024; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Florida Atlantic Owls head coach Dusty May coaches against the
Mar 22, 2024; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Florida Atlantic Owls head coach Dusty May coaches against the / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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4. Chris Holtmann (DePaul)

Recent history for DePaul basketball has been an utter mess. The Blue Demons haven’t reached the NCAA Tournament for twenty years and it’s hard to imagine that this was once one of the sport’s great programs. There’s no guarantee that things will turn around in the near future, though bringing in Holtmann is an indication that DePaul isn’t just giving up on basketball. Holtmann has been a winner before in the Big East and is a big-name hire for the Blue Demons.

Holtmann played ball at smaller schools Brescia and Taylor and got his coaching career started in a similar manner. His first head coaching gig came at Gardner-Webb and he left it after three years to be an assistant at Butler. Later promoted to head coach, he took the Bulldogs to four NCAA Tournament wins in his three seasons in the Big East before departing for Ohio State. His tenure with the Buckeyes ended in his firing in February but did have some decent success in the Big Ten, including four straight trips to the Big Dance.

Holtmann has been a great coach in the Midwest for many years and you can bet that the brass at DePaul weren’t too scared off by Ohio State’s recent disappointment. Holtmann won at least one NCAA Tournament game in each of his three seasons as a Big East head coach. The gig at Butler is obviously different than a ruined DePaul program, but he’s already built quite the roster using the Transfer Portal and is the first name that really elevates the Blue Demons in some time. Whether it leads to a winning culture remains to be seen, though there’s certainly reason for hope in Chicago.