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Potential Replacements for Chris Holtmann: Lamont Paris to Sean Miller - Full List

Ohio State fires coach Chris Holtmann, starting their search for a new coach. Here is a list of potential candidates.

The Ohio State Buckeyes have fired coach Chris Holtmann near the end of his seventh year in Columbus, making them the first major school to be in the pool for a new coach for the 2024 offseason. They will start their search as soon as OSU's 2023-24 campaign is over. The unknown factor is what incoming athletic director Ross Bjork will value in a candidate. This will not only be his first big move at Ohio State but also among his first moves, period.

Here is a list of potential candidates in alphabetical order.

Jeff Boals, Ohio

A former Ohio State associate head coach during the Thad Matta era, Boals was with the Buckeyes from 2009-16 before taking the head coaching job at Stony Brook. He went 55-41 in three seasons there before taking the job at his alma mater in 2019. In 2021, he led the Bobcats to the NCAA Tournament by winning the Mid-American Conference tournament and knocked off reigning national champion Virginia in the first round.

Dennis Gates, Missouri

The 44-year-old Gates spent eight years as an assistant for Leonard Hamilton at Florida State before becoming the head coach at Cleveland State for the 2019-20 season. In three years there, Gates won 50 games and was 39-19 in his final two seasons. He was named conference coach of the year in each of his first two seasons and in 2021 coached the school's first NCAA Tournament win in 12 years.

Gates took a 12-win Missouri team in 2021-22 and went 25-10 in his first season while being named SEC coach of the year. This year, though, the Tigers are 8-16 overall and 0-11 in the league.

Pat Kelsey, College of Charleston

A Cincinnati native who played at Wyoming and Xavier, Kelsey has been an assistant at Wake Forest, associate head coach at Xavier and the head coach at both Winthrop and Charleston. He was named Big South coach of the year in 2021 and won four conference championships before moving to Charleston in 2021. There, he led the Cougars to a 31-4 record, including a 28-game win streak, in his second season.

He is one of four active Division I men's basketball coaches with at least 203 wins in 10 seasons or fewer, joining a list that includes Chris Beard, Archie Miller, and Bryce Drew.

Dusty May, Florida Atlantic

May led Florida Atlantic to a historic Final Four run last season and is running it back this year with essentially the same roster. The Owls went 35-4 last year and are 19-5 as of Wednesday.

Greg McDermott, Creighton

The Buckeyes went after McDermott before hiring Holtmann, with Smith flying in a private jet to meet with him only to return to Columbus and officially sign Holtmann within 24 hours. He is now in his 14th season with the Bluejays. Over his first 13 years, he was 300-150.

Before taking the Creighton job, McDermott spent four years as Iowa State's head coach and won 59 games.

Sean Miller, Xavier

Now in his second go-round with the Musketeers, Miller spent 12 intervening years at Arizona. He has made eight trips to the Sweet 16 and four to the Elite Eight. In his first season back at Xavier helped the Musketeers go 27-10.

Wes Miller, Cincinnati

Miller is in his third season with the Bearcats. Prior to that, he spent 10 years as the coach at UNC Greensboro. He won 217 games before turning 40, the 15th highest total all-time and seventh among coaches since 1970. In May 2020, ESPN named him the No. 1 coach under the age of 40.

Nate Oats, Alabama

In five years with the Crimson Tide, during which he has turned Alabama into one of the SEC's top teams, Oats has established himself as a coach who employs a high-tempo, fast-paced style.

Lamont Paris, South Carolina

A native Ohioan, Paris is from Findlay and played four seasons at Wooster before working his way up the coaching ladder. Paris was an assistant at Akron for five years and then moved to Wisconsin, where he spent eight years as an assistant.

Buzz Williams, Texas A&M

Ohio State showed some interest in Williams before hiring Holtmann. He was at Virginia Tech at the time, where he made the 2019 Sweet 16 before taking the job at Texas A&M, predating Bjork's arrival. With the Aggies, Williams has posted a winning record in three of his first four seasons while making the 2023 NCAA Tournament.

The Ohio State Buckeyes are on the lookout for a new coach, and the potential candidates are all impressive in their own right. The decision will ultimately come down to what the incoming athletic director values in a candidate and who will be the best fit for the team. It will be interesting to see how the search unfolds and who ultimately lands the coveted position.

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