UW Health Sports Medicine 

Bill Butters
Bill Butters

Assistant Coach

Bill Butters is in his third year as part of UW's staff and continues his history of developing collegiate defensemen from 10 years as an assistant coach at the University of Minnesota.

Butters spent those 10 years - 1985 through 1995 - as an assistant coach for his alma mater, serving as recruiting coordinator, while also handling team travel, alumni relations and the team's defense. He helped the Gophers reach six NCAA Frozen Fours, and Minnesota finished in the top three of the WCHA during every season of his tenure.

Among the players who played for him at Minnesota are NHL defensemen Doug Zmolek, Chris McAlpine, Lance Pitlick, Mike Crowley, Tom Pederson, Dan Trebil and Todd Richards. Richards is now the head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Following his time with Minnesota, Butters assumed the role of co-head coach at Bethel College through 1998, before taking over as head coach of his former team at White Bear Lake High School until 2002.

As a player, Butters played three years at Minnesota, where he served as co-captain during the 1972-73 campaign. During his career, he was teammates with current Nebraska-Omaha head coach Dean Blais and played for legendary head coaches Glen Sonmor and Herb Brooks.

Butters' professional hockey career began when he signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs and was sent to the CHL to play with the Oklahoma City Blazers for a year and a half. From there, he moved on to the WHA for nearly five seasons. He skated for Minnesota, Houston, Edmonton and New England in the WHA. He reached the pinnacle of his career in 1977-78, playing 72 games in two seasons with the NHL's Minnesota North Stars. He finished his career with the Oklahoma City Stars of the CHL. He spent his final professional season as a player and coach for Oklahoma City, where he was teammates with Mike Eaves.

Recently, Butters has worked with Hockey Ministries International, where he has staffed and coached hockey camps.

Married to his wife of 39 years, Debby, Butters has three children, Ben, Anne and Becky, as well as seven grandchildren.

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