Position: Head Coach
With 20-plus years of coaching experience under her belt, including 13 seasons as a Division 1 head coach, Amanda Butler proved she was the right person to lead Clemson women’s basketball, leading the Tigers in an unprecedented first year at Clemson.
A Successful Career
Holding an overall head coaching record of 250-172, Butler is no stranger to success, having led her teams to 11 postseason berths in 13 years. Five of those 11 postseason appearances came in the NCAA Tournament, advancing to the Second Round in four out of five years.
In 13 years at the Division I level, Butler has coached her teams to eight 20-win seasons, including a 20-win campaign in her first year at Clemson, marking the first time that the Tigers reached 20 wins since 2001.
Restoring the Roar
In her first year at Clemson, the Tigers climbed to historical heights, highlighted by their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2002. Clemson finished the season at 20-13, the most wins in a season since 2001.
Bringing in just two players of her own, Butler faced the task of coaching a team that was picked to finish last in the ACC by the Blue Ribbon Panel. Undaunted by the task ahead, the Tennessee native pulled together a gritty, hard-working group of women, uniting them through the tenants of trust, loyalty and commitment.
The TLC factor paid off as three Tigers were honored with ACC awards: Kobi Thornton – ACC All-Second Team, Danielle Edwards – ACC All-Defensive Team, and Simone Westbrook – ACC All-Defensive Team. Senior Aliyah Collier also became the first Tiger to earn a spot on the ACC All-Tournament Team since 2002.
As the season progressed, the wins began to accumulate, including a few signature wins over rv/23 Miami and 21/19 Florida State. The Tigers through ACC play to finish the conference slate at 9-7 and in seventh place in the ACC. After winning just one ACC game a season ago, Clemson’s nine wins under Butler marked the largest turnaround by a first-year ACC head coach in conference history.
Her success in her first year at Clemson earned Butler ACC Coach of the Year on March 6, two years to the day of her firing at Florida. It was also her birthday.
Time with the Gators
Most recently, Butler spent 10 seasons at the head of the Florida Gators women’s basketball program, posting a 190-137 record in that span with eight postseason berths. She averaged 19.0 wins per season in her 10 years at Florida and was responsible for six of the program’s 15 total 20-win seasons.
Under her direction, the 2008-09 squad (24-8) cracked the top-25 in the national polls for the first time since the 2001-02 season. Butler coached the team to a program-best 15-game winning streak and won a program-record seven consecutive games against SEC teams.
Butler’s mentorship led to 10 All-SEC selections and eight All-SEC Freshman Team honorees during her 10 years at Florida. Following the spectacular 2008-09 season, Sha Brooks received WBCA and AP All-America Honorable Mention status.
As a coach, Butler was a United States Marine Corps/WBCA NCAA Division I National Coach of the Year finalist in 2016.
Head Coach Debut
Butler began her head coaching career at Charlotte, where the 49ers posted a 40-22 record in two seasons. She led the 49ers to two WNIT berths and the team’s first-ever share of the Atlantic 10 Conference regular-season championship.
In her debut season, Butler’s team posted a 21-9 mark and a WNIT appearance, earning her Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year honors.
Stops Along the Way
After graduating from Florida in 1994, Butler transitioned into an assistant coach role with the team under then-Florida coach Carol Ross. In two seasons as an assistant coach, Butler mentored the team to two NCAA Tournament berths, including an Elite Eight appearance.
She spent the next four season a little closer to home, serving as an assistant coach for Austin Peay State University in Tennessee. While there, Butler took over the recruiting efforts for the Lady Govs, an effort that translated into immense success as one of her recruits, Brooke Armistead, went on to earn OVC Freshman of the Year (2000) and OVC Player of the Year (2003).
In May of 2001, Butler took her talents to the state of North Carolina, joining the Charlotte women’s basketball staff as an assistant coach. In her second year with the program, the 49ers captured the 2003 Conference-USA regular-season title and earned their first-ever trip to the NCAA Tournament.
Butler earned a promotion to associate head coach following the 2002-03 season and continued her success in recruiting, bringing to Charlotte four All-Atlantic 10 selections, four Conference USA All-Freshman team members and one All-Conference USA honoree. The following season, Butler received the nod as head coach of the 49ers.
The Tennessee chronicled her year away from coaching (2017-18) for the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association, detailing her 365 days visiting various basketball programs around the country. Additionally, she appeared on several SEC Network broadcasts as an analyst throughout the 2017-18 season.
The Early Days
A native of Mt. Juliet, Tenn., Butler enjoyed a stellar prep career at Mt. Juliet High School, where she tallied over 1,400 points. Butler went on to a standout playing career at the University of Florida. During her junior and senior seasons, she led the Gators to the first two NCAA Tournament appearances in program history.
A three-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll, she was voted a finalist on the CoSIDA Academic All-America District Team. Butler completed her Gator career ranked second on the program’s all-time assists list with 401. During her tenure with the Gators, Butler helped the team to 73 victories and 21 SEC wins, in addition to serving as captain during her senior season.
Butler earned a bachelor’s degree in exercise and sports science from the University of Florida (’95) and a master’s in 1997.
April 22, 2019
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