Penn Staters rejoice! The Nittany Lions finally have a special teams coach. John Butler has joined the Penn State staff to coach defensive backs and special teams. This is a position that has needed to be addressed for the past several years as Penn State fans have tired of the infamous "designated fair catcher". Butler is a local guy, growing up in Oreland (outside of Philadelphia) and attending La Salle High School, though he did not attend Penn State.
Playing Experience. Butler played football at the Division III school Catholic University, but had no NFL experience.
Coaching Experience. Most recently, Butler coached special teams and outside linebackers at the University of South Carolina. Prior to taking the job with the Gamecocks, Butler coached the same positions under Tim Brewster at Minnesota (along with Ted Roof). Butler has also worked at Harvard, Texas State, Midwestern State and Texas.
Recruiting.has assigned Butler to recruit in the state of South Carolina. Butler was part of the group of coaches that visited Cam Williams and Armani Reeves last week to try and convince them to stay with Penn State. While that failed, hopefully he'll find success in South Carolina, where he spent the last year coaching.
Cupboards. Butler faces a tough challenge this year as the Penn State secondary has pretty much depleted thanks to graduation. This year's entire starting secondary (D'Anton Lynn, Chaz Powell, Drew Astorino and Nick Sukay) are being lost to graduation. Penn State still has Stephon Morris, Malcolm Willis and Adrian Amos, but Penn State is short in quality depth in the secondary (unless Derrick Thomas can straighten himself out). The loss of Armani Reeves to OSU/Michigan hurts as well.