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The newest addition to the Carolina coaching staff, John Butler was named special teams coordinator on February 23, 2011. He will also help Ellis Johnson by assisting with the linebackers.
Butler, who had been hired two weeks prior by the Houston Texans as a defensive assistant, spent the last four seasons as the linebackers coach and special teams coordinator at the University of Minnesota. In 2010, junior linebacker Gary Tinsley received honorable mention All-Big Ten honors from the conference's media. Two Butler-coached linebackers received all-conference recognition in 2009.
As special teams coordinator, Butler presided over one of the best units in the Big Ten during his tenure in Minneapolis. The Gophers averaged better than 22 yards per kick return in three of his four seasons and held their opponents to less than 20 yards per return in two seasons. Minnesota's punt coverage unit was one of the best in the country in 2008 and 2009, holding opponents to an average of just 8.1 yards per return in that two-year span.
Butler helped then-freshman Troy Stoudermire rank second in the Big Ten and 26th nationally in 2008 with a 25.8-yard kick return average and coached second-team All-Big Ten punter Justin Kucek in 2007 when Kucek averaged 42.7 yards per punt. Butler has coached special teams for the last 10 years, serving as the linebackers coach and special teams coordinator at Harvard from 2003-06 and the safeties coach and special teams coordinator at Southwest Texas State from 2001-02. He also spent two seasons (1999 and 2000) at Midwestern State where he served as the team's defensive coordinator while mentoring the linebackers and safeties. The 2007 team posted a 7-4 record, the first winning ledger in school history.
While at Harvard, Butler's special teams units annually ranked among the best in the Ivy League, scoring seven total special teams touchdowns during his tenure, including a 2004 season in which the Crimson registered five special teams scores. In 2004, the Crimson won the Ivy League title with a 10-0 record and a No. 12 national ranking.
Born in Philadelphia, the 1995 graduate of Division III Catholic University broke into the coaching ranks as the secondary coach after his senior year of playing before taking over as the defensive coordinator in 1996. His team finished in the top 25 in Division III in total defense that season.
In 1997 and `98, he served as a graduate assistant at the University of Texas under John Mackovic and Mack Brown.
As an undergrad, Butler was a four-year letterman and three-year starter at Catholic, where he was part of the biggest turnaround in Division III history. The team went 1-9 in his junior season but rebounded with an 8-2 mark in his senior campaign. He was also a two-year letterwinner in basketball and part of the school's 1992-93 NCAA Tournament team.
Butler, 38, and his wife, Carmen, have one child, Manny, born February 22, 2011.