The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

BREAKING: DePaul hires Chris Holtmann as next head coach of Blue Demons

Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann watches against Michigan in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Ann Arbor, Mich., Monday, Jan. 15, 2024. Holtmann will come to Chicago as DePaul’s head coach after seven seasons in Columbus. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

DePaul’s coaching search is over, as Chris Holtmann has been hired to take over the men’s basketball program.

Holtmann, a 52-year-old Kentucky native has 14 years of head coaching experience at Gardner-Webb, Butler and most recently, Ohio State.

Holtmann was hired to lead the Ohio State Buckeyes in 2018. Before the season, Ohio State was projected to finish No. 11 in the Big Ten Conference. Instead, Holtmann’s 9-0 start to conference play was the best by a Big Ten first-year head coach in 95 years, earning him Big Ten Coach of the Year. He capped off that season with a second-round appearance in the NCAA Tournament. During the next three seasons, Ohio State made the NCAA Tournament for each campaign.

Things began to turn for the worse in Holtmann’s sixth year in Columbus. For the 2022-23 season, he had his first losing record in his head coaching career since 2011-12 (at Gardner-Webb) as the Buckeyes went 16-19. Amid his seventh season at the program’s helm, Holtmann was fired Feb. 14 2024 after the Buckeyes went on a cold streak, losing nine of his last 11 games.

In 2022, he received a three-year contract extension from Ohio State worth around $3.5 million per season. Because he was fired during his contract period, Holtmann is owed the remaining $12.8 million from Ohio State by the end of the 2024-25 season.

Before coaching the Buckeyes, Holtmann served as head coach for the Big East Conference’s Butler University from 2014 to 2017, ending his impressive three-season stint with a Sweet 16 appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Holtmann will return to the Big East to become perhaps DePaul’s most accomplished head coach in history at the time of hiring.

Director of Athletics and Vice President DeWayne Peevy issued a statement shortly after the hire.

“After an extensive national search, I am proud to welcome Chris Holtmann to Chicago and our Blue Demon family,” Peevy said. “Chris’s track record as a head coach of high-level programs, demonstrated commitment to excellence on and off the court, and NCAA postseason experience made him the perfect hire for DePaul. Chris unmistakably shares our values and our vision for DePaul men’s basketball, recognizes our commitment to the resources required to compete at a high level, and is eager to return our program to national prominence.”

It is Holtmann who is now tasked with turning a DePaul men’s basketball team that went 3-29 this season back into a force to be reckoned with in the Big East.

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