Kristen Butler Named Head Coach of Toledo Softball Program
TOLEDO, OH – Kristen Butler has been hired as the new head coach of the University of Toledo softball program, UT Vice-President and Athletic Director Mike O’Brien announced today.
“We are pleased to announce the hiring of Kristen Butler as the new head softball coach at the University of Toledo,” O’Brien said. “Kristen has an impressive background, both as a coach and player, and is an excellent candidate to lead the program. We look forward to seeing the softball team thrive on the field and in the classroom under her leadership.”
Butler comes to Toledo after spending the past two seasons as an assistant coach at Charleston Southern, focusing primarily on pitching and catching duties. She joined the CSU coaching staff in September of 2012 after previously coaching at Mississippi Valley State and the University of Florida.
“I knew Toledo was a place that I could be successful,” Butler said. “I know that it is a great softball area when it comes to the high school and travel ball talent, and the facilities and administration sold themselves. Senior associate athletic director Kelly Andrews and Mike O’Brien have been first class and they’ve made me feel welcome from the get-go. I’m very excited to be a part of the organization.
“I think the first thing I can bring is enthusiasm,” Butler said. “I’ve coached at some winning programs in the past, from my alma mater as well as my previous two positions. Winning is a mindset. The enthusiasm and excitement that comes with it is going to be our number one goal here.”
While at MVSU, Butler and the rest of the coaching staff were honored as the Southwestern Athletic Conference Coaching Staff of the Year after helping lead the Devilettes to a SWAC championship and the NCAA Super Regionals.
A native of Orlando, FL, Butler was a four-year starter from 2003-06 at Florida where she played both catcher and third base. She earned Southeastern Conference Player of the Year following her senior campaign in which she set a new single-season home run record for the Gators. She also was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District team in 2006 en route to graduating cum laude with a degree in sport management.
Butler was a National Fastpitch Coaches Association Scholar Athlete all four seasons at UF and was named to the SEC All-Tournament Team in her first season with the Gators.
After graduation, Butler played four years with the Akron Racers of the National Professional Fastpitch League where she was awarded defensive player of the year honors in 2008. Butler continued her playing career in the Japan National League with Denso Softball, and set a Japanese national record with three home runs in one game. Butler has been playing with the Chicago Bandits of the NPF as a catcher and designated player since 2012.
She is currently working on her master of business administration and lives with her husband, Marcus Smith.