Chris Holtmann can finally, at long last, take a deep breath.
Just over 72 hours after he was officially named Ohio State's head basketball coach, Holtmann was introduced Monday during a press conference at Value City Arena. It was the end of what's surely been a hectic week and weekend for Holtmann.
During the news conference, which lasted roughly 30 minutes, Holtmann and Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith spoke on a number of different topics. Some highlights of what each had to say can be seen below.
Be sure to stick with Eleven Warriors throughout Monday for continuous coverage from the Holtmann press conference.
- Holtmann during his opening statement: “This was a decision that I had to work through. Gene was aggressive and persistent in his approach."
- On Ohio State: "A passionate fanbase that absolutely loves and craves a winner. That combination was simply too hard to pass up."
- "One of the first things I wanted to do was stand in front of [the current players]. I was really, really impressed."
- On former coach Thad Matta: "I also want to thank Coach Matta. Thad is a friend and his guidance through this process speaks a lot about him. It was important to me that I had his blessing."
- Holtmann has "complete open doors" to former Ohio State players.
- On recruiting Ohio: “We’re going to be really aggressive and passionate as a staff about adding Ohio State guys to this program. I’ve recruited Ohio for over 20 years and it has outstanding players and coaching. It will be paramount to our success."
- On passing other offers and why he took the Ohio State job: "This is the only one I seriously considered."
- On what he's already done on the recruiting trail: "That first hour I started making some calls."
- On hiring a coaching staff: "We're going to build an incredible staff. That will take place in the coming days."
- On expectations: "I think one of the reasons you come to a place like this is because you understand expectations."
- "What I'm most excited about is [the current players]."
- On coaching style: "We want to be tough and tough-minded. Aggressive and physical. We want our guys to play with freedom and go out there and cut loose and play."
- On coaching at a football school: "I love it."
- On the hectic, crazy week: "It's been a little bit of a blur."
- His family had a vacation scheduled for Hilton Head set to begin last Saturday. "We had a little bit of a change in plans," he said.
- On current team: "I sensed an excitement and a readiness to get to work. I can't wait to get working."
- During Smith's opening statement, he said: "When we met with our student-athletes on the team we promised them we would work hard to get this right."
- Smith on coaching search: “As we vetted the background of candidates, Chris Holtmann’s name continued to surface. He emerged as our No. 1 candidate."
- On original meeting with Thad Matta: “When I met with Thad on Friday, June 2, I did not go into that meeting anticipating we would make a leadership change."
- Smith said Holtmann was originally offered the job on Tuesday of last week. First was offered a seven-year contract, then it went to eight years.
- Smith met with Holtmann and his family in Dayton and finalized the deal.