On Wednesday morning, Shawnee State University announced that it would be hiring assistant coach Phil Butler as the next head coach.
Butler has been an assistant for the Bears for the last eight seasons. During the first four years of his tenure as an assistant, Butler served under former Bear head coach Ted Tom, before finishing out his time as an assistant for the last four years under former head coach Chris Moore. Moore, who also served under former head coach Ted Tom, resigned earlier this summer to pursue an opportunity with the Shawnee State Development Foundation.
Butler originally hales from Spring, Texas, and transferred as a player to Shawnee State from Blinn College. Once he arrived at SSU as a player, Butler immediately impacted the Bear’s success on the diamond. During his junior and senior seasons at SSU, Butler was an NAIA All American honorable mention and an NAIA First-Team All American respectively. Butler went on from Shawnee as a player to play three seasons with the Southern Illinois Miners from 2012-2014. Butler played in a career 163 games in his post collegiate career.
In his statement released by the school on Wednesday, Butler seemed ecstatic about the opportunity to head the program he once suited up for. “I can’t say enough about how excited I am for this new chapter in my life,” said Butler. “I can’t thank the people at Shawnee State University, especially Jeff Hamilton and those in the athletic department, enough for the opportunities they have provided to me over the last nine years and continue to provide today. I look forward to building on the excellent work that Ted Tom and Chris Moore have done over the past nine years as my coaches, bosses and mentors.”
Athletic Director Joe Hamilton echoed the sentiments stated by Butler on Wednesday. “We are very excited to promote Phil Butler as our new baseball coach,” said SSU Athletics Director Jeff Hamilton. “Phil was an outstanding player during his tenure as a student-athlete at SSU, which corresponded with some of our best baseball seasons. His hard work and leadership as a player has translated into his coaching style. He has been our main recruiter and should have a seamless transition for our team. We are looking forward to seeing his energy as our new coach.”
Shawnee looks to make strides this season, hoping to improve off their 14-30 record from the 2018 season.
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext 1930, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT