Ohio State will announce Chris Holtmann as its next head coach perhaps as soon as Friday, according to a person with direct knowledge of the situation. The person requested anonymity because the school had not announced the hire yet.
Holtmann agreed to an eight-year contract worth $3 million per year, according to the person.
Holtmann, who replaces Thad Matta in Columbus, just guided Butler to the Sweet 16 this past season. Butler has reached the NCAA tournament in all three seasons with Holtmann as head coach in the post-Brad Stevens era.
The 45-year-old coach also spent three seasons as head coach at Gardner-Webb before becoming an assistant under Brandon Miller at Butler. Holtmann was named the interim head coach ahead of the 2014-15 season began after Miller took a medical leave of absence — before the interim tag was removed later that year.
The Buckeyes and Matta parted ways earlier this week after 13 seasons. Matta’s teams reached two Final Fours and made the Sweet 16 five times. Ohio State went 17-15 last season and missed the NCAA tournament — capping off another underachieving season.
The timing of Ohio State’s move meant a high-profile coaching vacancy at a rare time in the sport’s offseason.
Creighton coach Greg McDermott, one of Ohio State’s top candidates, announced Thursday he’d be staying in Omaha. He was offered the head coaching job after a meeting Wednesday night.
Chicago Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg told the Chicago Tribune he wasn’t interested in the position earlier this week, and Xavier coach Chris Mack also expressed his content with the Musketeers.