Since arriving at Ohio State, men’s basketball coach Chris Holtmann has consistently worked to patch holes on his roster.
Now, for the first time, he’ll have to fill an open position on his coaching staff.
Friday, Mike Schrage was announced as head coach at Elon University, ending his two-year tenure as a Buckeyes assistant.
"I am honored to be named the 18th head men's basketball coach at Elon University," Schrage said in a statement. "It has been a dream of mine for a long time to lead a program, and I appreciate President Book and Mr. Blank affording me the opportunity at such a great institution. The commitment to athletics that Elon is making is impressive and the future is very bright. Elon is a great fit for me and my family, and we can't wait to build great relationships with our student-athletes and the Elon community.”
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During his two seasons with the Buckeyes, Schrage’s primary coaching responsibilities involved evaluating opposing personnel and developing game plans accordingly. He was also a key member of the team’s recruiting efforts. Schrage joined Holtmann’s staff at Butler for the 2016-17 season and then followed him to Ohio State along with fellow assistants Ryan Pedon and Terry Johnson.
"We are so happy for Mike and his family,” Holtmann wrote on Twitter. “The Elon community will love Mike, Amanda, Andrew and Sophie. Mike has earned this tremendous opportunity and it is a fantastic hire by Elon. The Ohio State basketball family sends its congrats to Elon University and the Schrage family!”
At Elon — a private school in Elon, North Carolina — Schrage inherits a team that went 11-21 last season and finished seventh in the Colonial Athletic Association before parting ways with coach Matt Matheny after 10 seasons. The Phoenix finished the year ranked No. 309 nationally according to KenPom.com.
Schrage is familiar with the region, having served as the academic and recruiting coordinator at Duke from 1999-2002 and then the director of baskeball operations from 2002-08. He then went to Stanford as an assistant from 2008-16 before joining Holtmann at Butler, making him a rare coach with extensive experience on both coasts.
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Ohio State is expected to conduct a search for a replacement who has multiple years of experience both coaching and recruiting at the Division I level.
One potential candidate is already on staff: Mike Netti, who has been special assistant to the head coach for the past two seasons. Netti was part of Holtmann’s staff at Gardner-Webb and spent four seasons as an assistant at East Carolina before reuniting with Holtmann at Ohio State.
Schrage’s introductory press conference will take place at 5:30 p.m. Monday.