Butler Departs Holy Trinity After Stellar Coaching Career
By Space Coast Daily // November 27, 2014
NJCAA All-American in the marathon
ABOVE VIDEO: Doug Butler is a running legend, winning Space Coast Runner’s Male Runner of the Year awards eight times. He is also a record-setting coach with 20 high school state titles, and has been inducted into both the Space Coast Runners Hall of Fame, as well as the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame.
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Legendary Brevard County cross country and track and field coach Doug Butler has departed Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy after a stellar 15-year coaching career at the school.
Over the years, Butler never asked his runners to do anything he wouldn’t – it could be quarter-mile splits on the track or charging up the hills at High Point in Cocoa, near the Econo-Lodge at 528.
That special rapport helped Holy Trinity rack up 20 state titles, including the last four consecutive boys’ cross country state championships. For his outstanding efforts, Butler was enshrined in the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame in May 2012.
“It’s huge when the kids see that I’m willing to do whatever I ask them to do,” said Butler, who has personal bests of 2 hours, 25 minutes in the marathon, 1:06 in the half-marathon, 30:54 in the 10K and 14:52 in the 5K.
“It garners more respect when I say something than if someone 120 pounds overweight says something. I know what they have to go through.”
Since Holy Trinity has students in seventh through 12th grade at its Upper School in the northern part of Melbourne, Butler truly could coach his athletes.
“A couple of extra years is priceless, especially at a smaller school,” said Butler, who grew up in Ohio. “I can develop two years ahead. A seventh-grade girl can be competitive. On the boys side, they’re not competitive as seventh graders.”
Butler, who took up running in the Air Force while stationed in Germany, studied at Brevard Community College after leaving the Air Force. He received his bachelor’s degree from Barry University and a master’s degree from Capella University.
After his military stint in Germany, Butler was assigned to Patrick Air Force Base for a year between March of 1985 to March of 1986. That assignment at PAFB ensured that Butler eventually would return to Brevard County where he worked at McDonnell Douglas, which later became Boeing, from April 1988 to July 2009.
He added the spark of competitiveness and drive for excellence to his passion for running and started his competitive amateur running career in 1986. Since then he has logged over 65,000 miles and hundreds of races.
He is a two-time National Junior College Athletic Association All-American in the marathon, finishing second in the nation in 1991. He has since completed over 20 marathons, with a personal best time of 2:25:57 in 1995.
His prowess as a marathoner, sparkling personal best times of 1:06:57 in the half-marathon, 30:54 in the 10K, 14:52 in the 5K, five Overall Male Track Shack Grand Prix championships and eight Space Coast Runner’s Male Runner of the Year awards put him into the Space Coast Runners Hall of Fame in 2001.
Butler’s influence is far-reaching and his impact and influence as a role model, mentor and coach is reflected by the success of another of the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame inductee, Kayla Hale, who was a 5-time state Cross County and track champion at Holy Trinity.