When Chris Holtmann replaced Thad Matta as the Ohio State men’s basketball coach, many former players were skeptical with how it all went down. Matta was loved, both by his players and the fanbase, and some of Matta’s players made their displeasures known. Most notably, former Buckeye D’Angelo Russell admitted that he will never go back to Ohio State.
Fast forward two years and Holtmann has not only overachieved on the court, but he as done a spectacular job of connecting with former Buckeye basketballers, something that is vitally important for the program and its success. Not only have players returned to workout on campus, but some have even gone to games and supported Ohio State from both near and far as much as they could.
To prove the connection between Holtmann and Buckeyes young and old was truly working, the head coach hired Scoonie Penn to be the team’s director of player development even before he started his first season in Columbus in 2017. With Penn departing Ohio State to be an assistant coach for the Memphis Grizzlies earlier this summer, Holtmann has brought back yet another Buckeye to fill the role. On Tuesday, the team announced that Holtmann has hired Terence Dials to be the director of professional development.
“Terence is obviously a name many Buckeye fans know well,” Holtmann said. “We are excited to add him to our staff in our director of professional development position. His outstanding work as a student-athlete here, as well as his experience in sales and business after his professional playing career ended, will be beneficial in his role with our players.
“Because this is a non-coaching position, we elected to change the position title and responsibilities to more accurately fit the position,” Holtmann said. “Terence will play an important role in helping to prepare our players for life after Ohio State. We are really excited about the benefit this will add to our players. Welcome back, Terence!”
To say that Dials is excited to return to the scarlet and gray would be quite an understatement. He’s ready to get to work and help the Buckeyes as much as he can.
“I couldn’t be happier to be a part of a program that gave me the opportunity to live my dream,” Dials said. “Helping grow these young men who represent our university is an honor. I can’t wait to jump right in and be part of the basketball staff at Ohio State. I hope I can share my experiences to help the team and I can’t wait to learn a ton from everyone on staff.
“I want to thank Coach Holtmann, Gene Smith and Scoonie Penn for believing that I would be a great fit to represent the University,” Dials said.
During his five years (132 games) donning the scarlet and gray, he not only won Big Ten Player of the Year in 2006, but Dials had plenty of accomplishments as well:
He was inducted into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2015 and now, 13 years after being named Big Ten Player of the Year, Dials returns to where it all began, once again proving that the connection between Holtmann and former Buckeyes is better than ever and only growing. While on-court success has certainly helped that, the fact that the head coach is made such a giant mark both on fans and former players already says so much about him.
Holtmann is building something special in Columbus, and Dials is now along for the ride, hoping to help as much as he can both on and off the court.