Tennessee at Martin Adds Former Standout Heather Butler to Staff

Reigning Ohio Valley Conference Coach of the Year Kevin McMillan has announced the addition of former Skyhawk great Heather Butler to the University of Tennessee at Martin women’s basketball coaching staff.

Butler begins her collegiate coaching career at UT Martin after being widely renowned as one of the program’s all-time greats, pushing the program to four OVC Tournament titles and four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. Along with numerous accolades, Butler became not only UT Martin’s first, but the conference’s first player to make a WNBA roster after signing with the San Antonio Stars.

“Being able to add Heather to our program is not only a tremendous opportunity for her, but UT Martin as a whole,” said McMillan. “Heather has taken home nearly every honor possible from being a WNBA player to being named an Academic All-American and OVC Scholar-Athlete. We are happy to jumpstart her coaching career while finding someone who knows our system and program from the inside and out. We look to her not only to help in the X’s and O’s part of the game, but relate to the players from the perspective of the student-athlete.”

No stranger to the OVC or UT Martin, Butler ranks as the conference’s all-time leading scorer with 2,865 career points – ranking 16th in NCAA women’s basketball history. She was named the 2014 OVC Player of the Year along with being recognized as an All-OVC first team performer all four years ranging from 2010-14. She scored in double figures in 129 consecutive games (every game of her career) ranking as the second longest streak in NCAA history while ranking fifth overall.

A finalist for the 2014 Nancy Lieberman Award along with being a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award and nominee for the Allstate WBCA Good Works team, Butler added the distinction of OVC Female Athlete of the Year to her portfolio. Additional accolades include being named Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame Amateur Athlete of the Year along with Tennessee Sports Writers Association Women’s Basketball Player of the Year.

“I am happy to join Coach McMillan and take the first steps in my future career,” said Butler. “Although my desire is to return to playing basketball professionally, I look forward to gaining invaluable experience in a championship program which I hold close to my heart. It is such a blessing to have the opportunity to coach alongside Coach McMillan and Coach Russell, two coaches who have raised me up to be the player I am today and to be able to learn from them from a different perspective. It is so exciting to see what this year has in store and how I can contribute to the program that has provided me with such amazing memories.”

Butler holds UT Martin records for: single game points (44, two occasions in 2014); single game field goals attempted (34, 2012); single game three-point field goals made (nine, 2014); single game three-point field goals attempted (16, 2012); single season field goals attempted (704, 2013); single season three-point field goals made (105, 2013); single season three-point field goals attempted (319, 2013); career points (2,865); career field goals made (958); career field goals attempted (2417); career three-point field goals made (392); and career three-point field goals attempted (1074).

She owns a pair of NCAA records with 80 consecutive games with a three-point field goal made along with a single season record of 34 consecutive games in 2012-13. She scored at record paces during her career, becoming the NCAA’s 21st player with 2,800 points while becoming the first player to reach 2,000 points at UT Martin and fastest to reach the 1,000 point plateau (just 50 games).

Before attending UT Martin, Butler prepped at Gibson Country High School where she led the team to an undefeated 39-0 season in 2008-09 en route to a district, regional and Tennessee state championships. A Class AA Miss Basketball finalist, she has since had her jersey retired and been inducted into the Gibson Country Athletic Hall of Fame.

Butler earned her bachelor’s degree from UT Martin in 2014 with a degree in health and human performance.



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