Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann calls out to the Buckeyes in the second half in the game against Michigan State on Jan. 7 in Value City Arena. Ohio State won 80-64. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo Editor

Chris Holtmann’s eight-year, $24 million contract as the Ohio State men’s basketball coach was approved by the Board of Trustees’ Talent and Compensation Committee Thursday to the surprise of no one.

Since he is one of the highest-paid university employees, his finalized contract still had to be approved by the committee.

In an era where coaches’ contracts continue to grow in compensation and length, the committee felt Holtmann’s deal was justified.

“A critically important part of it is to have a contract that is long enough that in the living room of a high schooler’s parent, the parent expects the coach to be there through the entire time their young man or woman is in school,” University President Michael Drake said.

Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith said Holtmann has already lived up to and exceeded expectations.

Drake quipped back immediately and said what Holtmann has done with the team he inherited was actually the plan all along.

“He’s actually matched our expectations,” Drake said, which was met with a laugh throughout the room.

Even with Holtmann’s lengthy contract, Smith said the university will not enter into the arms race associated with over-paying coaches and said exorbitant contracts for football coaches at Texas A&M and the University of Alabama are outliers.

The contract is awaiting approval by the full Board Friday.