Story courtesy: Matthew Bonnette, McNeese Sports Information Director
Former McNeese baseball player and head coach Todd Butler is returning to where he got his start when on Wednesday, McNeese Interim AD Heath Schroyer announced his hiring to fill the newly formed Senior Associate Athletics Director position as part of the department’s reorganization plan McNeese President Dr. Daryl Burckel revealed last week.
Butler will oversee ticketing and game promotions operations, work on fundraising and serve as liaison to the athletic corporate sponsorships. He will also serve as the sport administrator for baseball, softball, soccer and tennis.
Butler’s journey has come full circle.
Originally from Alexandria, Butler grew up in Sulphur and played for the Cowboys for two seasons before earning his degree in 1991 then joined the coaching staff as a full-time assistant in 1993 and ’94 where he helped lead the Cowboys to the 1993 Southland Conference Tournament title and NCAA berth, then in 1994 played a critical part in McNeese winning a school-record 41 games.
Butler returns to McNeese after spending the 2019 season as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Missouri, and before that, spent six years as the head coach at Wichita State where he developed 30 MLB draftees and 11 combined All-American and Freshman All-American honorees.
“Today is a wonderful day for our family returning home to where our hearts have always remained for the last 30 years,” said Butler. “I am honored to return to McNeese State University, my alma mater that molded me as a student-athlete, coach, and now administrator as I work for the university that gave me my start. I am privileged to join the dynamic team of President Dr. Daryl Burckel and Interim Athletics Director Heath Schroyer‘s vision and leadership into the next decade.”
“I’m excited to add Todd to our team,” said Schroyer. “He’s an experienced leader and has been around college athletics for over 30 years at multiple levels. In building our administration team, I was looking for experience, leadership ability, and a ‘people first’ skill set. Todd is all of those and more.
“The philosophy we are developing and implementing is one that is student-athlete centered and donor and fan friendly. Todd fits this philosophy and will complement our admin team.”
Butler was head coach of the Cowboys from 2001-03, improving McNeese’s win total each season, capped by a 2003 Southland Conference Tournament title and a bid to the NCAA Tournament.
In addition to his stints at McNeese, Wichita State and Mizzou, Butler served on the staffs at Alabama (1995-2000, ’04-’05) and Arkansas (2006-13).
Across his long-tenured Division I coaching career, Butler’s squads produced five College World Series appearances, six NCAA Super Regional bids and 17 trips to an NCAA Regional. He also coached 36 combined All-Americans and Freshman All-Americans, 171 players selected in the MLB Draft and 45 individuals who ultimately reached the Major Leagues.
Butler spent a total of 16 seasons as an assistant coach in the Southeastern Conference. He had two stints over a combined eight years on the Alabama staff, aiding the Crimson Tide to seven NCAA Regional appearances and three trips to the College World Series.
Spanning across eight years as an assistant coach with Arkansas, Butler and the Razorbacks reached the NCAA Tournament each season with three NCAA Super Regional bids and two trips to the College World Series. As the lead recruiting coordinator, Butler helped haul-in five, top-10 national recruiting classes.
Historically as a lead recruiter on his respective coaching staffs, Butler brought in 10 freshmen classes ranked among the nation’s top-10. In 1999, Alabama’s incoming freshmen class was ranked fourth-best in the country and still stands as the program’s all-time highest ranked class.
Prior to beginning his coaching career, Butler played collegiately for McNeese (1985-86) and Oklahoma (1987-88). In his senior campaign with the Sooners, Butler earned Third Team All-America honors while also being named to the All-Region and All-Big Eight Conference teams. He later signed a professional deal with the Cleveland Indians and played for one season.
The soon-to-be 54-year old (July 23), Butler and his wife, Melissa, have two daughters, Caitlyn and Kendyll.