Butters Steps Down From Wisconsin Staff
CHN Staff Report
Bill Butters, who is in his third year as an assistant coach with Wisconsin, is leaving his position with the Badgers effective immediately.
Head coach Mike Eaves is in the process of searching for a new coach to add to his staff to replace Butters.
Butters said he has long been contemplating returning to Minnesota to rejoin his ministry.
“The decision to leave has been about four weeks, what’s in my heart has been there since about 1980,” Butters said. “This is about my calling on my life and in 1980 I felt called by God to get into ministry, to tell players about faith.
“They need a guy in here that has the passion to get in a guys face and share that. I don’t know if I was the guy. I thought I was when I came here — I really did my best, sometimes your best isn’t good enough. ... In my heart I felt, ‘I don’t know if I’m the guy.’”
Eaves said he wasn't expecting the news.
“It was a surprise, no question,” Eaves said. “Once talking to Bill and never being one to roll over, challenged him a couple times, but throughout our discussions it became clear where his heart was and what he needed to do.”
Butters also emphasized that there is no animosity between him and the program, that this was simply a choice he needed to make not only for himself but for the team as a whole.
“If you watch the practices and watch the games, Mike Eaves is a capable coach and so is Gary Shuchuk,” Butters said. “There are so many applicants for the job, there’ll be people. I don’t think I’m leaving them in a lurch, I think this is a necessary ending for the betterment of the team and sometimes necessary endings are tough. I have to answer this call in my life.”
Butters both played and coached at the University of Minnesota. He also played five seasons in the WHA and two seasons with the NHL's Minnesota North Stars.
Kelly Erickson contributed to this report.