When Chris Holtmann decided to become a basketball coach, he never dreamed he'd have to deal with the events of the last three months. From the COVID-19 pandemic prematurely ending the season, to roster changes, to having to work remotely, to now--having real conversations with his team about social injustice and racism.
"There's no playbook for what we've experienced the last three months," Holtmann said when he joined me Wednesday morning. "I think you just take things as they come and I think you try to lead by being authentic and real with your players. Our guys were incredibly disappointed once the tournament was ended because they knew we were playing arguably as good as any team in the country at the time. You deal with that and then you deal with the uncertainty of 'when are your players going to return' and then you deal with obviously the health concerns and now we have an issue that's moved, for good reason, to the real forefront of our country's consciousness and that is us really grappling and dealing with the issue of racism in our country. It's been full of real conversations with our players."
I got to talk to Coach for a good solid ten minutes when he was very open about the issues of the day. We also discussed the 3-year anniversary of his hiring, the unusual challenges the year 2020 has brought, incoming grad transfer Seth Towns passionate participation in recent social injustice protests, the start of voluntary workouts and more. A big thanks to Coach Holtmann for joining me. If you missed it, you can hear the comprehensive interview by clicking here to go to our morning show podcast page.