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For seven years, Jeff Boals enjoyed the same drive to the office. Heading south on Route 315, he'd come around the curve and pass OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital before exiting onto Lane Avenue.
And each time, he told The Dispatch last week, it produced the same reaction.
"Chills," said Boals, who was an assistant at Ohio State from the 2009-10 season through 2016, when he was named head coach at Stony Brook. "Every time I drove by there. I think just an appreciation for what that place means, not only athletically but the fact that there's so many other things going on."
It's a primary suggestion that newly hired head coach Chris Holtmann will need to understand in order to become a successful replacement for Thad Matta, the program's all-time winningest coach. One week to the day Matta was fired, Holtmann will be formally introduced at 11 a.m. today on the main floor of Value City Arena as the 14th coach in school history.
And if he wants to improve upon the legacy that Matta built during his 13 seasons, it will start with having an appreciation for what the university represents not only to those who attend or work for it, but for nearly everyone within the state.
"You just have to take pride in the fact that there's something more to it than just you," said Jon Diebler, who hit a Big Ten-record 374 three-pointers as a Buckeye from 2007-11. "It's not just about you and saying that you went to Ohio State. This truly is a brotherhood."
Diebler graduated from Upper Sandusky as the state's all-time leading prep scorer. The chance to play for the Buckeyes was prized essentially from birth, he said, which separates him from fellow program legend Scoonie Penn, who transferred in from Boston College.
The lessons he learned along the way are applicable for Holtmann, he said.
"He's coming from Indiana and basketball is king in Indiana," Penn said. "Just understanding the tremendous Buckeye pride, the long history and tradition, it's something that any coach that comes in has to understand. You understand that and you understand the majority of kids grew up here and want to be a Buckeye."
In Butler, Holtmann leaves behind a program that plays in historic Hinkle Fieldhouse, an iconic venue, while Value City Arena is more than double its size but only generates a real home-court advantage when it's mostly full. That has not been the case in recent years for a program that generally plays second fiddle to football.
But make no mistake: This is not viewed as even a lateral move, even after a few down years for Ohio State.
"They treated me like family," said Evan Ravenel, who like Penn transferred from Boston College to play for the Buckeyes (2011-13). "You drive past that (Ohio) stadium, Value City Arena, the Oval and you start shaking like, 'I'm here.' It gives you chills and makes you want to be a part of it and do your part to make it better."