Gardner-Webb's Chirs Holtmann Leaves for Butler

Grant Halverson

The Big South's Coach of the Year is heading to the Big East to become an assistant.

The trickle down effect of Brad Stevens leaving for the Boston Celtics continues to ripple throughout college basketball. In a crushing blow to Gardner-Webb the Bulldogs head coach Chris Holtmann has decided to leaving the Boiling Springs, North Carolina school to join Brandon Miller's Butler staff.

Holtmann has revitalized the a Gardner-Webb program that had not had a winning season since 2006. In building a roster over two year's Holtmann went 21-41 through his first two years, but reaped the benefits of his hard work with a 21-13 season this past year and a CIT birth.

Holtmann, a former assistant at Ohio, was the 2013 Big South Coach of the Year. VP for Athletics Chuck Burch commented on his departure:

"We are grateful for the resurgence Chris created here at Gardner-Webb. He will be sorely missed, both on and off the court. Although we are disappointed not to have him on the sidelines here in Boiling Springs, we will always be supportive of successful coaches' pursuit of opportunities to advance their career.

"Chris is leaving an experienced, talented team for his successor, and we are confident the program is in much better shape than it was when he arrived in 2010." via Shelby Star

Holtmann was in strong contention for the Ball State opening this past year.

Gardner-Webb will return three starters this year, along with Texas A&M transfer Naji Hibbert. The school will begin a search for Holtmann's replacement.

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