COLUMBUS, Ohio — When Chris Holtmann was introduced as Ohio State’s next men’s basketball coach in June 2017, he didn’t offer a prediction as to when the Buckeyes might return to the NCAA Tournament that they’d missed two years running.
“The state of the program is good. We have some work to do,” Holtmann said. “The reason I’m excited is because of the guys sitting right behind you [Ohio State’s players]. As I’ve gotten to know them and spend some time with them, if you said what gets you most excited, it’s those guys. Beyond that, I’m not going to put a timetable on it. We’re going to work every day to play in the best tournament in the world. I can promise you that.”
Nine months later, the Buckeyes not only made the tournament as a fifth seed but also won a game before falling to fourth-seeded Gonzaga in the second round. Because of that postseason success, Holtmann added $40,000 to his $3 million annual salary. He missed all other performance-based incentives, which include the following:
- $20,000 for winning or sharing the Big Ten regular-season title
- $40,000 for winning the Big Ten Tournament
- $20,000 for making the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament
- $20,000 for making the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament
- $100,000 for winning the NCAA Tournament
Holtmann came closest to adding the $20,000 payment for a regular-season conference championship, as the Buckeyes finished one game behind first-place Michigan State. Ohio State lost in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament and needed two more NCAA Tournament wins than it got to advance to the Elite Eight.
Holtmann actually is in line for an even bigger payment if his players continue to succeed in the classroom. His contract allows him a $50,000 bonus if the team has a collective 3.0 grade-point average for the 2017-18 school year and a $150,000 payment if the Buckeyes earn a 3.5 GPA. After the fall semester, the program announced its players had earned a 3.1 GPA, which would put Holtmann in line for a $50,000 payment if it remains above a 3.0 after the spring semester.
Former coach Thad Matta had the same performance bonus totals, although the regular-season Big Ten title, Big Ten Tournament title and Elite Eight appearance bonuses also included an extra year added to his contract. Additionally, Matta’s GPA incentives were identical for 3.0 and 3.5 marks, but he also had the ability to collect $100,000 for a 3.3 GPA.
Holtmann’s entire contract can be viewed below.