Chris Holtmann, a successful head coach at Gardner-Webb, became the first hire of new Butler head coach Brandon Miller. Holtmann was named an assistant coach for the Bulldogs in July of 2013.
Holtmann, 41, served as head coach at
Gardner-Webb for the three seasons, leading a successful rebuilding
program at the North Carolina school. He took the
Runnin’ Bulldogs from eight wins in 2009-10 to a school
Division I record 21 victories and a berth in the
CollegeInsider.com postseason tournament last year.
Gardner-Webb won ten of its final 11 games in 2012-13 and finished
a game out of first place in the Big South Conference. For
his efforts, Holtmann was named Big South Conference Coach of the
Year and NABC District 3 Coach of the Year.
During his career, Holtmann has recruited seven all-conference players, one Rookie of the Year, one conference Player of the Year, one NCAA Division I All-American and one ESPN/CoSIDA First Team Acacdemic All-American. He helped build back-to-back top recruiting classes as recruiting coordinator at Ohio University, and he's recruited and/or coaches 13 players who have signed professional contracts. Every senior during his three years as head coach at Gardner-Webb wound up earning a degree.
The talented coach accepted the position of head coach at Gardner-Webb after spending two seasons as an assistant coach under former Butler assistant John Groce at Ohio University. He was part of the staff that helped lead the Bobcats to the 2010 Mid-American Conference Tournament championship and an upset of No. 3 seed Georgetown in the opening round of the 2010 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship. Prior to his stint at Ohio, he served for five seasons as an assistant coach at Gardner-Webb, including four seasons as Associate Head Coach.
A native of Nicholasville, Ky., Holtmann was an NAIA All-American guard at Taylor University. He helped lead Taylor to a 25-9 record, a No. 1 national ranking and a berth in the NAIA National Tournament in 1993-94. He served as a graduate assistant coach at Taylor in 1997-98, spent one season as an assistant coach at Geneva College and then returned to Taylor as an assistant coach under head coach Paul Patterson. In his final two seasons at Taylor, the Trojans posted a 50-16 record, won back-to-back conference titles and ranked in the “Top 15” of the NAIA national poll.
Holtmann earned a degree in psychology from Taylor in 1994 and a Master’s Degree in athletic administration from Ball State in 2000. He and his wife, Lori, have one daughter, Nora Jane.