Query & Schultz

Query & Schultz

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Hoping for Holtmann?

Indiana is in the beginning stages of their coaching search, and while many of the expected names like Steve Alford and Archie Miller are popping up, there's one name I haven't heard as much: Chris Holtmann.

Holtmann, who is thriving in the state's capital city, isn't likely to leave, but is a candidate absolutely worth exploring. I briefly outlined some of the reasons he'd say "yes" or "no" to the Indiana job:

Why he would say 'yes': Butler doesn't have to divulge what it pays their head coaches, but it's fair to estimate it's somewhere over the $1M/year range. If Indiana is going to put their money where their mouth is, you would assume they could triple Holtmann's current salary. As good of a program as Butler is, it'll never have the budget or resources that Indiana does.

For those worried about recruiting, Holtmann has already proven himself to be an excellent one. He has established relationships with Indiana high school coaches, and has spent the last four years navigating the area's recruiting landscape. There would be a lot of "new" things about the Indiana job, but it's not like Holtmann would be jumping into the deep end of a pool he's never swam in before.

Why he would say 'no': Holtmann is in a terrific situation. Butler has made the NCAA Tournament in each of his three seasons at the helm, and is coming off perhaps the best regular season in the program's modern history: a second-place major conference finish, a school-record #4 NCAA Tournament seed, and a sweep of defending champion Villanova. Yes, Indiana has a blueblood history, but Butler's run of success on the court over the last decade certainly tops anything the Hoosiers have done in that span. Butler is a basketball-centric athletic program in a basketball-focused conference - no football to cloud or overshadow the Big East's decision-making - and hoops will always be priority #1 both by the University and the Big East.

It's hard to get coaches to leave a comfortable situation, and Holtmann is clearly comfortable. He's already helped bridge the gap from the Brad Stevens era, which was no easy task. He's proven he can recruit and win a at a high level. He understands Butler's culture (the "Butler Way", as cheesy/lame as it sounds) and is the perfect fit. 

Indiana has to give him a call, and it'd be idiotic not to, but I don't think Holtmann would leave Butler. Right now, the timing is terrible, as the Bulldogs have a heralded freshman class coming in, led by national recruits Kyle Young and Christian David. Also, with Josh Hart and Kris Jenkins graduating at Villanova, maybe the Big East championship door will finally crack open a bit.

The money is obviously enticing, but does someone in a comfortable spot want to deal with the intense pressure and expectations of raising an Indiana program that has been largely dormant for twenty-plus years? That's not only the big question for Holtmann, but for virtually every head coaching candidate Indiana explores.

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