DePaul basketball hires a former Big 10 coach to take over the program

DePaul has hired a former Big 10 coach with Big East ties to lead its basketball program.

DePaul is hiring former Ohio State and Butler head coach Chris Holtmann as its next head coach, the school announced Thursday. He replaces Tony Stubblefield, who was fired mid-season in January.

ESPN reported Holtmann's contract with DePaul is a six-year deal.

"After an extensive national search, I am proud to welcome Chris Holtmann to Chicago and our Blue Demon family," Vice President and Director of Athletics DeWayne Peevy said in a statement. "Chris’ 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."

Holtmann comes to DePaul after he was fired mid-season at Ohio State during his seventh season. During his tenure in Columbus, Holtmann had a 137–86 overall record.

In his career, Holtmann has an overall career record of 251–171. 

Holtmann rose up the coaching ranks from Garner-Webb before taking an assistant coaching job at Butler for one season. Then-Butler head coach Brandon Miller went on a leave of absence for an unspecified medical issue.

Miller did not return, and Holtmann was elevated to head coach. At Butler, Holtmann had a 70–31 record and made the NCAA Tournament in three consecutive years. He reached the Sweet Sixteen in the 2017 NCAA Tournament.

Following that Sweet Sixteen run, Holtmann left for Ohio State.

In his six and a half seasons at Ohio State, Holtmann went to the NCAA Tournament four times in six full seasons and won 20 games in his first five seasons.

Holtmann's teams at Ohio State earned solid seeding in the NCAA Tournament, but failed to reach the Sweet Sixteen. In 2021, Ohio State earned a No. 2 seed in the 2021 NCAA Tournament, which was the best seed the Buckeyes had earned in eight years.

However, Ohio State was stunned in the first round by No. 15-seeded Oral Roberts.

Coming to DePaul, however, Holtmann has an opportunity to reinvigorate a basketball program that has not been to an NCAA Tournament since 2004.

The Blue Demons did not win a Big East game this past season. The program has not had a winning season since the 2018-2019 season when DePaul finished a with 19–17 record.

Holtmann has found success everywhere he has coached. Finding success at DePaul might be a challenge, but it starts with the university investing in the program's NIL foundation.

"I am very excited about this opportunity to be the head men’s basketball coach at DePaul," Holtmann said in a statement. "During this process, I was extremely impressed with the commitment, eagerness and vision of DeWayne Peevy and President Manuel to build a successful BIG EAST basketball program. My wife, Lori, and our daughter, Nora, look forward to getting to Chicago and spending time in the DePaul community. We can’t wait to get to work!"


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