July 16, 2013

Chris Holtmann Named Butler Men’s Basketball Assistant

INDIANAPOLIS, IND. -- New Butler head coach Brandon Miller put the finishing touches on his 2013-14 coaching staff with the addition of former Gardner-Webb head coach Chris Holtmann.  The new assistant coach fills the vacancy created when Miller was promoted to head coach at Butler on July 6.

"Chris' experience as a coach, whether an assistant coach or head coach, speaks for itself," noted Miller of his new hire.  "His values and what he stands for, who he is as a person, fits Butler University, and I think our staff, our players and myself will benefit greatly from working with him in the future."

Holtmann, 41, served as head coach at Gardner-Webb for the past 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.

In announcing his departure from Gardner-Webb, Holtmann stated, "The opportunity I am taking at Butler University, working for Brandon Miller, is a wonderful one that was just too strong to pass up for my family.  Gardner-Webb University and this great community will always be special to the Holtmann family."

Holtmann accepted the head coaching position 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.