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Ohio State basketball team releases contract information

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Ohio State will pay more than $8.6 million to former men’s basketball coach Chris Holtmann, whom it fired midway through last season. The money will be paid in monthly installments through June 30, 2028.

Ohio State’s payout was reduced by $125,000 each month after Holtmann accepted the job as DePaul’s head coach, saving OSU $6,375,000, according to a copy of the termination agreement signed by both parties on March 14 and later obtained by The Dispatch through a public records request.

Without the DePaul job, Ohio State would owe Holtmann $14,990,706.25 due to the three-year extension Holtmann signed in August 2022 that would see him paid about $4 million in the final year of the contract. But Holtmann’s contract also stipulated that Ohio State would no longer be responsible for post-termination payments if he did not pursue a similar position following a no-cause termination.

Holtmann will be paid $155,669.15 in 16 monthly installments from Feb. 15, 2024, to June 30, 2025. He will be paid $187,499.99 in seven monthly installments from July 1, 2025, to Feb. 14, 2026.

Monthly payments for the remainder of the contract will be $171,874.99.

Buyout figures could be affected by Holtmann’s status at DePaul. A contract increase would likely result in smaller payouts from Ohio State, while a termination or salary reduction could result in larger payouts from Ohio State.

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Holtmann signed a six-year deal at DePaul through the 2029-30 season. In his seven years with the Buckeyes, Holtmann’s teams went 137-86 and 67-65 in the Big Ten. Ohio State finished second in the regular season in 2017-18, his first season with the program, and Holtmann was named Big Ten Coach of the Year. The Buckeyes reached the NCAA Tournament in their first four years in the event and were set to be the first overall pick for the 2020 tournament, which was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He was fired on February 14, after a loss at Wisconsin left Ohio State 14–11 overall and 4–10 in the Big Ten. In a brief press conference later that evening, outgoing athletic director Gene Smith said he regretted the contract extension and took responsibility for the decision while allowing incoming athletic director Ross Bjork to hire Holtmann’s replacement.

Bjork hired Holtmann’s former associate head coach, Jake Diebler, as the interim coach to close out the season. He signed a five-year contract paying $2.5 million annually.

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