The transition of leadership in the Ohio State men’s basketball program has begun.
Chris Holtmann, the former Butler head coach, was officially announced Friday as the 14th head coach in program history following Thad Matta’s ouster Monday.
OSU Athletics Director Gene Smith put an emphasis on finding a coach who was well-versed in recruiting the state of Ohio and the Midwest areas during his joint press conference Monday with Matta. In one of Holtmann’s first moves in his new role, he made a call to 2018 four-star shooting guard Dane Goodwin.
“We’re meeting with (Holtmann) early next week,” Damon Goodwin, Dane’s father, told The Lantern a phone interview Saturday.
Ohio State 2018 commit Dane Goodwin and his family are meeting with Chris Holtmann early next week
— Jacob Myers (@Jacob_Myers_25) June 10, 2017
Damon said Holtmann’s call to Dane on Friday was a brief introduction to OSU’s lone class of 2018 commit. Prior to Holtmann’s hiring, Damon told The Lantern Dane was still committed to OSU but who OSU hired to replace Matta would determine whether Dane would maintain his pledge.
Damon, the head coach at Capital University, added that he has never met Holtmann, but knows Ryan Pedon, one of Holtmann’s assistants at Butler, because Pedon lives in Bexley, Ohio, which is where Capital is located.
David Woods of the Indianapolis Star reported Friday that Holtmann wishes to bring his entire Butler staff to OSU if Butler does not promote an assistant with the program to head coach.
Holtmann has recruited significantly in Ohio, including OSU 2018 targets Dwayne Cohill, Jerome Hunter and 2019 targets Jeremiah Francis and Jeremiah Keene.
OSU targets that Chris Holtmann offered at Butler: Tim Finke, Musa Jallow, Jeremiah Francis, Dwayne Cohill, Jerome Hunter, Robby Carmody
— Zach Fleer (@ZachFleer270) June 9, 2017
The Goodwins’ meeting with Holtmann next week highlights the early push on the 2018 class — a class that has five Ohio recruits in the top 100 recruits nationally — in an effort to immediately turn around a Buckeye program that was 17-15 in 2016-17 and has missed two straight NCAA Tournaments.