Jeff GoodmanJeff Borzello 402d

Butler's Chris Holtmann lead candidate in Ohio State search

Men's College Basketball, Ohio State Buckeyes, Butler Bulldogs

Butler coach Chris Holtmann has emerged as the front-runner to replace Thad Matta at Ohio State, sources told ESPN.

Holtmann, 45, has been at Butler for four seasons, the latter three as the head coach. The Bulldogs have reached the NCAA tournament in each of Holtmann's three seasons in charge, winning 25 games and advancing to the Sweet 16 last season.

Holtmann also spent three seasons as the head coach at Gardner-Webb, before leaving to become an assistant under Brandon Miller at Butler.

Holtmann was named the interim head coach in October 2014 after Miller took a medical leave of absence. The interim tag was removed in January 2015.

Ohio State parted ways with Matta earlier this week. The Buckeyes have missed the NCAA tournament in two straight seasons, and struggled to a 17-15 record last season.

Creighton head coach Greg McDermott met with Ohio State on Wednesday night, but decided to remain in Omaha.

Xavier head coach Chris Mack and the Chicago Bulls' Fred Hoiberg also made public statements announcing their intentions to stay at their current jobs.

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