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Introducing: Extra inning
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My name is Al Butler. I was born in 1972 to Hermon Butler Sr. and Claudine Crowe Butler. I am very happily married to Robin Butler, and we share four wonderful children, three girls, Taylor, 15, Ally, 11, and Hannah, 6, and one boy, Bray 10. These five people are my reason for life and without their support, much of who I am now would not be possible.
I graduated from Bryan County High in Pembroke in 1990. I joined the Georgia Army National Guard (’91-’97) as a combat medic spending time in Dublin, Milledgeville and Statesboro units before moving into education. I was employed by the Bryan County BOE with Custodians and Maintenance (’91-’94).
In 1992, I was introduced to a young coach by the name of Allen Clark, who unknowingly mentored me at a very important time of my life. His enthusiasm and dedication towards his students helped me to decide on education as a career. His dedication and passion towards his students was truly infectious as I tried to figure out my place in the working world. He frequently tried to nudge me to get an education. Little did he know I liked his job.
I graduated from Georgia Southern (’97) with a BS in health and physical education. I have since obtained an M Ed. (’00), and an Ed S. (’02) in educational leadership, all from Georgia Southern. I am currently pursuing an Ed D. in Educational Leadership from Argosy University in Sarasota, Fla.
I have been teaching for 12 years. I currently teach physical education to sixth through eighth grades at Bryan County Middle School where my middle school principal (Ms. Debbie Hamm) from my years as a student, who frequently peppered my hide, is now my principal/boss in my hometown of Pembroke.
I have coached for the last 18 years at various levels from recreation (Hendrix Park ’93-’94, ’06-‘07), as a community coach (Statesboro High ’95-‘96), as an assistant coach of baseball (Statesboro ’95-’96, Dooly County ‘98, HV Jenkins-Savannah ’00), football (Statesboro ’95-’96, HV Jenkins Savannah ‘00 and Bryan County ‘03), and softball (Dooly County ’97, DeRenne Middle- Savannah ’98-‘99 and HV Jenkins ‘01). I have also been a head coach for middle school soccer (DeRenne Middle-Savannah ’99), varsity baseball (HV Jenkins ‘01-‘02 and Bryan County ’04-’09), and varsity softball (Bryan County ’08-present).
Enough about me.
What makes me an expert on coaching? Absolutely nothing. I have years of experience in the area of teaching, coaching and athletics. This column is meant to maybe help shed some light on some of the issues that we, as coaches, may face during the course of a season. During a school year, I hear many questions from parents that are somewhat easily answered. This column will try to do just that, answer questions from community members concerning athletics and/or coaching.
At no time will I discuss any controversies concerning our schools’ coaching staffs at either end of the county. That is not the purpose of this column.
The purpose is to help others understand the thought processes that we as teachers and coaches use in our daily interactions with our students and athletes. Maybe your question or topic does not focus on these areas but is concerns a particular game situation or certain rule interpretation.
While my coaching area is primarily with baseball and softball, please ask your question no matter the area. I will find the answer. This will give me the chance to broaden my knowledge as well.
Through e-mail, I will collect requests for the coming week’s topic to be discussed. I will sort through the topics that you, the reader, want answered and will select one or two topics to discuss. If I do not answer your question for the week, it will be saved for possible future use.
I would like to thank Jeff Whitten for inviting me to do this piece. I look forward to your questions.
Please send your questions to
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