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  Chris Holtmann

Chris Holtmann

Player Profile

Hometown:
Nicholasville, Ky.

Position:
Assistant Coach

Experience:
Second season

Alma Mater:
Taylor '94

The first hire made by John Groce upon accepting the position of head coach at Ohio University, the well-liked and respected Chris Holtmann begins his 12th season as a college coach and second at Ohio in 2009-10 with a reputation among his peers as a passionate teacher of the game, a committed tactician and a tireless recruiter.





In Holtmann's first season at Ohio, the Bobcats posted the sixth-lowest opponent scoring average in program history.


Holtmann's primary duties include working with the Bobcats' wing players, as well as assisting Groce in the coordination of Ohio's varied and attacking defensive package, and the transition in his first year in Athens was seamless.

Ohio's wings put on an offensive show under Holtmann's tutelage in 2008-09, leading the Mid-American Conference in three-point field goal percentage for the first time in school history with a mark of 36.3 percent that also equaled the ninth-best output in program annals. Guard Tommy Freeman was the ringleader of the Bobcats' aerial display, topping the MAC and tying for seventh on Ohio's single-season chart after converting at a rate of 42.5 percent from beyond the arc, while forward Justin Orr and guard Steven Coleman also finished the year ranked in the league's top-15 in three-point efficiency.

Coleman turned in a dynamite rookie season under Holtmann's watchful eye, earning MAC All-Freshman Team honors after leading conference freshmen in field goal percentage (47.1) and steals per game (1.66), while ranking second in three-point field goal percentage (34.6) and assists per game (2.50) and third in points per game (9.8). Coleman's 47.1 percent mark from the floor was also good for seventh in the overall MAC rankings.

A critical component of the attacking-style defense employed by the Bobcats, the Ohio wings also benefited from Holtmann's defensive prowess during his first year on the bench. As a group, the wings were integral in limiting opponents to an average of only 65.0 points per game, the sixth-best opponent scoring mark in program history. Coleman proved to be a ballhawk on the perimeter from the outset of the campaign, leading the team and ranking fifth in the MAC with an average of 1.66 steals per contest.

Holtmann came to Ohio after a five-year stint at Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, N.C., including the last four as associate head coach. During his time at GWU, Holtmann began to craft his reputation as both a defensive tactician and tireless recruiter.

Under Holtmann's guidance, the Runnin' Bulldogs led the Atlantic Sun Conference in three-point field goal percentage defense (30.7) and ranked second overall in field goal percentage defense (42.2) in 2007-08. Gardner-Webb also finished second in the A-Sun in field goal percentage defense in 2004-05, Holtmann's second season on staff.

The Nicholasville, Ky., native was also integral in the recruitment of both the 2008 A-Sun Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year to GWU. Holtmann-protégé Thomas Sanders captured the POY award, along with Associated Press honorable mention All-America honors, after becoming the first Gardner-Webb player in 20 years to average a double-double, while Nate Blank averaged 10.8 points per game in 2007-08 to bring home A-Sun Freshman of the Year accolades.

Tim Jennings, another Holtmann recruit at GWU, earned A-Sun Defensive Player of the Year twice during his career and was instrumental in leading the Runnin' Bulldogs to a regular-season conference title in 2004-05. Two of Holtmann's last four recruiting classes at Gardner-Webb were ranked in the national top-100, a key reason for GWU's recent victories over Southeastern Conference powerhouse Kentucky, Big Ten foe Minnesota and Conference USA member East Carolina (twice).

Prior to his tenure in Boiling Springs, Holtmann served as the top assistant and recruiting coordinator at Taylor University, the alma mater that he and Groce share. The Trojans won back-to-back conference titles and posted at least 25 wins in each of his last two seasons on the bench, finishing eighth and 13th in the NAIA polls, respectively.

Holtmann broke into college coaching at Taylor in 1997, serving as the team's graduate assistant for a year before spending a season as a full-time assistant at Geneva (Pa.) College.

After a standout career at Jessamine County (Ky.) High School, Holtmann played with Groce under NAIA Hall of Fame coach Paul Patterson at Taylor. He earned All-America honors in 1994 as captain of the NAIA's top-ranked team.

Holtmann earned a degree in psychology from Taylor in 1994 and a Master's in athletic administration in 2000. He is married to the former Lori Bedi.