Randy Butler is in his third year of his current stint as the tight ends coach at Southern Miss, his seventh year overall coaching tight ends, his 17th year with the Golden Eagles and 29th year overall as a coach. He also is in his seventh year as the Assistant Head Coach and third as the recruiting coordinator.
Over the past two seasons, Butler, who has the longest tenure of any coach on Bower's staff, coached two-time All-Conference USA selection Shawn Nelson. Nelson has had the two best years ever by a tight end in school history, registering 35 catches for 540 yards and five touchdowns as a freshman and finishing with 36 catches for 506 yards and three touchdowns as a sophomore. He was named the New Orleans Bowl MVP in 2005, posting six catches for 121 yards and two touchdowns.
He also coached the tight end position at Southern Miss during the 1993 and 1994 seasons. In 1994, Butler coached former Golden Eagle standout Terry Hardy, who was later drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in the fifth round and played several years in the NFL.
In his nine years on the defensive side of the ball, Butler was an integral part of helping continue the tradition of the Southern Miss defense. Butler's development of defensive lines over his tenure at Southern Miss helped further the long-time defensive tradition that is synonymous with Golden Eagle football.
Butler spent the 2004 season retooling the defensive line after losing standout defensive ends Terrell Paul and Ronald Jones. The Golden Eagles finished 7-5 for the season and defeated North Texas, 31-10, in the Wyndham New Orleans Bowl. That defense finished No. 2 in Conference USA in scoring defense and No. 3 in total defense.
He coached an outstanding line that helped the 2003 Golden Eagles win their fourth Conference USA championship and earn a third trip to the Liberty Bowl. The defense posted some impressive numbers that season, including a No. 14 ranking in scoring defense, No. 13 in pass efficiency defense and No. 23 in total defense.
Four of the defensive linemen earned all-league honors for their efforts. Paul anchored the group with a first-team All-Conference USA selection, while Jones and Eric Scott picked up all-conference third-team honors. Redshirt freshman Greg Casnave was one of three Southern Miss players to be named to the All-Freshman team. Jones signed an NFL free agent contract with the Indianapolis Colts.
Butler also coached a stellar defensive line in 2002, led by Paul, an All-Conference defensive end as a junior. The defensive line jelled toward the end of the season and played its best football down the stretch, twice earning defensive Player of the Week honors from the Southern Miss coaching staff.
Following the 2000 season, three defensive linemen coached by Butler were selected for postseason honors, three were drafted in the NFL Draft and one more signed a free agent contract. Cedric Scott was selected in the fourth round by the New York Giants, Daleroy Stewart in the sixth by the Dallas Cowboys and John Nix in the seventh, also by the Cowboys. DeQuincy Scott signed a free agent contract with the San Diego Chargers.
That same season, three were named to various All-Conference USA teams -- Cedric Scott, DeQuincy Scott and Nix. Cedric Scott was named C-USA Co-Defensive Player of the Year and an All-American by The Associated Press and Football News.
Butler also coached Jeff Posey, a two-year standout who signed a free agent contract with San Francisco in 1996 and played 11 years in the NFL. In 1997, he coached Robert Brown, a four-year letterwinner and All-Conference USA first-team honoree. Brown has played professionally in the Canadian Football League for several years and has been an all-pro selection.
Butler, the former Southern Miss standout was named Assistant Head Coach after the 2000 season. He moved over to coach defensive ends prior to the 1995 season. Prior to moving back to the defensive side of the ball, Butler spent two seasons coaching the tight ends.
Butler was an all-star performer at Southern Miss at offensive tackle, earned three letters and participated in both the East-West Shrine Game and the Senior Bowl following his collegiate career. After a brief stint in the NFL with the Baltimore Colts, Butler returned to his alma mater as a graduate assistant coach. He was a part of the Southern Miss staff that coached the Golden Eagles to a 16-14 victory over McNeese State in the 1980 Independence Bowl.
In 1987, he went to Mississippi Delta Junior College as defensive coordinator. A year later, Butler traveled to Tulane as the Green Wave offensive tackles and tight ends coach. He spent 1992 as the offensive coordinator at Navarro Junior College. His squad was 8-2 and won the Texas Junior College Conference Championship.
Butler graduated from Southern Miss in 1979 with his bachelor's degree and with his master's degree in 1981. He was inducted into the Southern Miss Athletics Hall of Fame prior to the 1999 spring game. He is married to the former Angela Smith, also a Southern Miss graduate. The couple has two children, Anna Leigh and Chelsea.
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