Butler coach has Kentucky connection

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WKYT) - Kentucky and UCLA play Friday night in the NCAA Sweet 16 in Memphis, but in the first game of the night, North Carolina will play Butler.

There is a Kentucky connection in that game: Butler's head coach, Chris Holtmann, grew up in Jessamine County.

WKYT's Rob Bromley caught up with him Thursday afternoon.

Rob Bromley: "When you were growing up in Jessamine County, did you ever think you'd be in this position?"

Chris Holtmann: "No, no, and I didn't necessarily plan on it. When I got into coaching, I just kind of wanted to be a small college coach at Taylor University, my alma mater, and to be here in this moment is pretty special.

Bromley: "Did you grow up a Kentucky fan?"

Holtmann: "Yeah absolutely. I went to Joe B. Hall Camp. Got my picture taken with him. I still have it in my parent's house in Nicholasville. Went to college during the days of Tubby and coached against him last year, that was an honor. So we've got a lot of fond memories."

Bromley: What's been the key to it this year for your team to get this far?

Holtmann: I think our ability to play together. To get moving in the same direction. We have a group that pretty agenda-less,
kind of know that they want and they've pursued that and when I reflect on this team that's what I think of."

Bromley: "I would think, well I know that you're going to have a lot of Big Blue fans pulling for you tomorrow night?"

Holtmann: "For a variety of reasons right? Not just because they like me. Yeah ya know Kentucky fans are incredible. They travel and they're unbelievable in their support and if they root for Butler we'll certainly hear them. That's for sure."

Bromley. "I know the alums of Butler, including myself, are proud of you and proud of this team. Congratulations on what you've accomplished. and good luck against North Carolina."

Holtmann: "Thanks so much."

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