Chris Holtmann finalizes staff, promotes Mike Netti to Ohio State assistant coach

Adam Jardy
The Columbus Dispatch
Mar 18, 2022; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Chris Holtmann reacts to a play in the first half against the Loyola (Il) Ramblers during the first round of the 2022 NCAA Tournament at PPG Paints Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Holtmann has filled his remaining assistant coaching position from within and finalized the look of his support staff for the 2022-23 season.

Mike Netti, Ohio State’s special assistant to the head coach for the previous five seasons, has been promoted to a full-time assistant coaching position. He joins Jake Diebler and the newly hired Jack Owens to fill out Holtmann’s staff.

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It's not the only move for the Buckeyes. Diebler has been promoted to associate head coach, video coordinator Kyle Davis will be the director of recruiting and branding and program assistant Robbie Rucki will fill Davis' video coordinator role.

"These promotions, along with the addition of a director of recruiting and branding in which Kyle Davis will fill, gives us a strong, dynamic and complete staff,” Holtmann said in a statement.

Davis and Rucki are responsible for helping drive Ohio State's computer-assisted data analytics efforts in recruiting.

A Syracuse graduate, Netti began his coaching career at Gardner-Webb University as an assistant coach from 2004-07, where Holtmann was also an assistant. Netti then took a Division II junior college head coaching job at Lackawanna (Pennsylvania) College and spent two seasons there before moving on to become an assistant at St. Francis (New York).

In 2010 Netti rejoined Holtmann at Gardner-Webb when the latter was named head coach. They spent the next three seasons together before Holtmann left for an assistant coaching job at Butler following the 2012-13 season and Netti took an assistant coaching position at East Carolina.

The two reunited when Holtmann took the Ohio State job in 2017 and hired Netti for a newly created position. Since then, he has worked behind the scenes on a number of fronts, from helping with the renovations to the players’ hallway outside the practice facility at Value City Arena to helping with scouting and analysis. When Holtmann and assistant Ryan Pedon missed the Jan. 9 game due to COVID-19 this past season, Netti was temporarily promoted to an on-court assistant who essentially oversaw the team’s offense.

"Mike has earned this promotion with his outstanding work here for the past five seasons as the assistant to the head coach,” Holtmann said. “Mike is a coaching veteran who has been a junior college head coach, a high major assistant as well as working in nearly every aspect of a college basketball staff. Mike has great contacts across the country and is terrific at skill and player development. We are excited about this new role for him.”

On his most recent performance evaluation, Netti was rated as having exceeded expectations according to Holtmann.

"He brings great insight on the coaching side of things and his ability to evaluate recruits through film and bring his perspective is really valuable," Holtmann wrote following the 2019-20 season. "I lean on Mike to help me think through large program-wide ideas and thoughts and his connections, curiosity and experience continues to be a great asset."

Netti and Owens replace Pedon, who took the head coaching job at Illinois State, and Tony Skinn, who left after one season to take an assistant coaching job at Maryland.

"He knows the Midwest really well," Holtmann said of Owens. "He knows what wins in this league. He’s been a head coach. He had a good run at Miami. I’m thrilled having him. I’ve heard nothing but great things about him and it’s been validated by his time here so far."


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