- Family Features
- Business Directory
- Gallery Of Homes
- Subscribe Now!
- Place A Classified Ad
- New! Digital e-Edition
MJHS-alumnus named Florida women's coach
Apr 19, 2007 12:00 am
Mt. Juliet's connection to Southeastern Conference women's basketball was re-established Friday when Amanda Butler was hired by Florida.
Butler played for the Lady Bears, taking them to the state semifinals as a junior in 1989 before signing with the Lady Gators, for whom she started at guard from 1990-94, helping them to their first two NCAA tournament appearances.
A decade later, she is back in Gainesville where the football and mens' basketball teams are reigning national champions.
"This is a very emotional day for me because returning to the University of Florida is a dream come true," Butler said. "Florida is such a respected place, athletically and academically. And we will work hard on the court, in the classroom and in the Gainesville community and make the Gator Nation proud."
Butler spent two seasons at Florida as an assistant under current Ole Miss coach Carol Ross. She was then hired at Austin Peay by another Mt. Juliet-alum, Susie Gardner, who recently resigned after four years at SEC-rival Arkansas. Also on the Lady Governor staff was future Lebanon coach Rochone Dilligard.
Butler went to North Carolina-Charlotte for a four-year stint as an assistant and two-year run as head coach, guiding the 49ers to a 40-22 record with two NIT appearances. She was named Atlantic 10 Conference Coach of the Year her first season. Those credentials stood out to Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley.
"We talked to a lot of people during this hiring process, and the one name that continually surfaced was Amanda Butler's," Foley said. "She is a young, up-and-coming coach who has such a bright future."
Associate AD Lynda Tealer, in charge of women's sports, said, "Under her direction, the sky really is the limit to what we can accomplish. I look forward to the journey."
Butler replaces another Tennessee native, Carolyn Peck, who was fired in February during a 9-22 season.
Brown to Central Florida
Butler's not the only Tennessean headed to the Florida Division I women's hoops ranks.
Former Friendship Christian coach Greg Brown is headed to Central Florida as an assistant following three years as head girls' coach at Goodpasture. Brown, married to former FCS hoops standout Teresa Naylor, coached the Friendship girls for four seasons, taking the Lady Commanders to their first State Tournament appearance in 2002.
He left after that season for a two-year stint as an assistant/video coordinator, under the legendary Pat Summitt at Tennessee.