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Ohio State Basketball Begins Season With New Coach Chris Holtmann

Ohio State Buckeyes
Chris Holtmann, Ohio State men's basketball coach, led Butler's team before coming to Columbus.

A new era of Ohio State men's basketball begins at home on Friday night, as Chris Holtmann starts his tenure as the Buckeyes' head coach. 

Ohio State will start its regular season against Robert Morris University at the Schottenstein Center, after defeating Wooster, 88-63, in an exhibition game last weekend.

Before coming to Ohio State, Chris Holtmann coached men’s basketball at Butler University in Indianapolis for 3 years. He previously had been head coach at Gardner-Webb University in North Carolina.

In June, an athletic department spokesperson said Holtmann signed onto an eight-year contract that will pay him around $3 million per year.

Holtmann replaces Thad Matta, who led the Buckeyes on the court for 13 seasons. Under his direction, the team earned five Big Ten Conference regular season championships, four Big Ten Tournament Titles, two Final Four Appearances, and the 2008 NIT Championship.

In recent years however, Matta received criticism for poor recruiting within Ohio, and lackluster team performances. During the last two seasons, Ohio State did not get any invitation to the NCAA tournament, and Matta was fired from the team in June.

As Holtmann takes over, he says the team is healthy. His roster includes center Micah Potter, forwards Jae-Sean Tate, Westerville South’s Andre Wesson, Kyle Young and Keita Bates-Diop, and guards Kam Williams and C.J. Jackson.

Debbie Holmes has worked at WOSU News since 2009. She has hosted All Things Considered, since May 2021. Prior to that she was the host of Morning Edition and a reporter.