UF Hopes Butler Will Do It!
Amanda Butler, one of the nation's top young coaching talents as well as a former four-year starter and two-year assistant coach for the University of Florida, has been named the Gators' ninth head women's basketball coach, athletics director Jeremy Foley announced today.
Butler, 35, possesses 12 years of college coaching experience, including two as the head coach of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Not only does Butler bring success from her decade on the sidelines, she brings a unique passion to the University of Florida. Butler is returning to her alma mater, where she was a four-year starter for the Gators from 1990-94. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise and Sport Sciences with honors on May 6, 1995 and was awarded a Master of Exercise and Sport Sciences on August 9, 1997.
Â Â During her two years as head coach at Charlotte, Butler compiled a 40-22 record that included two WNIT berths and a share of the 2005-06 Atlantic 10 Conference regular-season championship. Her debut season resulted in a 21-9 record, the most wins ever by a Charlotte coach in their first year, as Butler was recognized as the league's Coach of the Year. This season the 49ers posted a 19-13 overall mark, advancing to the WNIT second round before losing to Virginia, 74-72.
Â Â Butler joined the Charlotte staff for the 2001-02 season as an assistant under first-year head coach Katie Meier and helped the 49ers to a 16-13 record, the program's first winning season in eight years. In her second year as an assistant coach at Charlotte, the 49ers captured the 2003 Conference USA regular-season title and earned the program's first-ever appearance in the NCAA Championship.
She was promoted to Associate Head Coach the following season, and when Meier departed to take the head job at the University of Miami (Florida), Butler became the logical choice to assume the 49ers head position.
Â Florida enjoyed two of its best finishes in the Southeastern Conference Tournament during Butler's time as an assistant, with the Gators advancing to the semifinals for the first time in program history during the 1996 campaign and followed it with the team's first â€“ and still only â€“ appearance in the championship game.
On the court, the 5-foot-8 guard immediately took charge of the team from her first day at Florida, also the rookie season for Ross as head coach, as Butler started 99 of the 114 games she played during her career. During her junior and senior seasons, she led the Gators to the first two NCAA Championship appearances in program history that began a run of seven consecutive trips to the NCAAs.
Butler, who was a three-time member of the Southeastern Conference Academic Honor Roll, completed her Gator career ranked second on the program's all-time assists list with 401, while ranking among top-three for career three-pointers made (77) and attempted (278). The team captain during her senior season, Butler helped the Gators compile 73 victories during her tenure, the best four-year total in school history at that time, and to 21 SEC wins, also the most during a four-year span.
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