Busting Brackets

Ohio State Basketball: 9 candidates to replace Chris Holtmann as Head Coach

Maryland v Ohio State
Maryland v Ohio State / Kirk Irwin/GettyImages
1 of 10

After nearly seven seasons, Ohio State has announced that they are parting ways with Chris Holtmann, who was hired as head coach back in 2017. The Lexington native did not make it through his seventh full season in Columbus and the firing comes after a lack of success in recent years.

Holtmann played college basketball at Brescia and Taylor, becoming collegiate teammates with future collegiate coach John Groce at the latter. He spent several years as an assistant at his alma mater before getting his D1 start as an assistant at Gardner-Webb two decades ago. After a pair of seasons on Groce’s staff at Ohio, his head coaching career began back at Gardner-Webb in 2010.

After three seasons with the Runnin’ Bulldogs, including a trip to the CIT in year three, Holtmann jumped to Butler, becoming an assistant coach under new leader Brandon Miller. Holtmann found himself promoted to the top job for the Bulldogs a year later and would find great success. He’d win 70 games in three seasons, taking Butler to at least the second round of the NCAA Tournament in all three years.

Ohio State brought him aboard shortly thereafter, and the initial results were fantastic, as the Buckeyes won 25 games and finished 2nd in the Big Ten in his first season. He would lead Ohio State to at least 20 wins in his first five seasons, including four straight trips to the NCAA Tournament. Unfortunately, the Buckeyes never advanced beyond the opening weekend of the Big Dance.

The issues began last season, as the Buckeyes collapsed down the stretch to finish just 16-19, settling for a 13th place finish in the Big Ten. While this current season isn’t quite finished, the Buckeyes sit just 4-10 in league play, having won just twice in their last eleven outings. Ohio State just fell off hard these last two seasons and it cost Holtmann his job after nearly seven years.

Regardless of the last two seasons, Ohio State is an appealing landing spot that should attractive some talented candidates. We don’t exactly know the direction the Buckeyes will look, but there’s an impressive basketball history, a great NIL situation, and a prominent place in the Big Ten, a league that remains one of the best in the nation. Whoever is hired next will have all the pieces to get Ohio State back into the national conversation.

Today’s focus is on the future, as we’ll be examining a few potential candidates for the Ohio State job. Remember that Ohio State is an attractive job and could very easily lure a prominent head coach to Columbus. We’re looking at a few potential names here; nobody has been physically connected to the position obviously, but let’s start running through names that could get the call to lead the Buckeyes.