Butler and men’s basketball coach Chris Holtmann have agreed to a contract extension. The deal now runs through the 2021-22 season.
Holtmann’s teams have posted a 45-22 record in his two seasons as head coach. He and former coach Brad Stevens are the only coaches in Butler history to lead the Bulldogs to the NCAA Tournament in each of their first two seasons, where both of Holtmann’s teams have advanced to the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament. His teams are an impressive 22-14 in BIG EAST play. Holtmann will add Butler’s highest-rated recruiting class in program history for the 2016-17 season, a class that was ranked as high as 20th on National Signing Day.
“This extension shows the commitment that both Chris and the University are making to the success of our men’s basketball program on and off the court,” said Butler Vice President and Director of Athletics Barry Collier. “Chris has led our team to significant accomplishments on the court these past two seasons, while also providing outstanding leadership as a key member of the Butler community.”
Butler finished the 2015-16 campaign with a 22-11 record and fourth-place finish in the BIG EAST. The Bulldogs’ 79.9 points per game ranked in the Top 25 nationally. Kellen Dunham,Roosevelt Jones and Kelan Martin each earned All-BIG EAST honors.
“In his time at Butler, Chris has proven himself to be among the top tier of coaches nationally,” said Butler President James Danko. “We have seen that translate to wins on the court. Chris continues to be an excellent ambassador for Butler University and our mission. On behalf of the Butler community, I’m excited for our future with Chris continuing to lead our men’s basketball program and the tremendous coaching staff and student-athletes who represent us so well.”
Holtmann was named Butler’s 23rd men’s basketball head coach in January of 2015, after serving for three months as interim head coach. He guided the 2014-15 Bulldogs to a 23-11 record, a tie for second place in the BIG EAST and an NCAA Tournament appearance. Butler tied the fourth-best single season turnaround (+8 wins) in BIG EAST history.
“I want to thank President Danko and Barry Collier for their continued support and confidence in our long-term ability to lead this outstanding program,” said Holtmann. “I know I speak for our staff when I say how much we understand and appreciate the great responsibility that comes with this position. I am honored to serve Butler University in this capacity and I, along with Lori and Nora, are very excited about our future here.
“After graduating two outstanding senior classes, we are well aware of the challenges ahead. Clearly we are competing in one of the premier conferences in college basketball and we look forward to working very hard every day to make all those who have been a part of, and care about, Butler Basketball proud of our program.”
The 2016-17 Bulldogs return three starters from last season’s team, including Kelan Martin, who averaged 15.7 points and 6.8 rebounds per game while earning All-BIG EAST Second Team honors. The Bulldogs also add a recruiting class ranked in the Top 25 by several outlets, in addition to transfers Kethan Savage and Avery Woodson.