Owen Butts - 1994
Coach Owen Butts was born in Columbia,
South Carolina, August 8, 1951 to Owen M. and Edith Butts. Owen’s family moved
to Montgomery, Alabama when he was a few months old. It was in Montgomery that
he began his formal educations.
In 1969, he graduated from Robert E. Lee
High School in Montgomery. He attended Alexander City Junior College (now
Central Alabama) from 1969 – 1971 where he graduated with an A.S. degree.
Owen’s next two years were spent at the University of Montevallo where he
graduated in June, 1973 with a B.S. degree in Physical Education and a minor in
History. Coach Butts’ graduate work was also at the University of Montevallo
where he obtained his M. Ed. Degree in August, 1978 with a double major in
Physical Education and Driver Education.
Owen Butts, to a great extent, epitomizes
what Junior College basketball and athletics have meant too many young men and
women. He was a walk-on at Alexander City State Junior College the fall of
1969, coming there with no high school playing experience. He earned a starting
position midway of the season his freshman year and was instrumental in leading
the team to a runner-up finish in the Southern Division.
Owen really came into his own his
sophomore year as he averaged 19.0 points and 12 rebounds per game while
shooting 60% from the field and 80% from the foul line. He led the team to the
State Tournament and was named to the All-Conference Team.
Coach Bill Jones saw Owen’s potential and
signed him to a basketball scholarship at the University of Montevallo. In his
initial season there in 1971-1972, he averaged 17 points and 10 rebounds per
game, shot 60% from the field and 78% from the foul line, and was named first
team All Conference.
In 1973, his final year at Montevallo,
Owen averaged 14 points and 6 rebounds per game while shooting 54% from the
field and 72% from the line. During this season he was called in to play
several positions including point guard. He a set a school record with 19assist
in one game and again was named first team All-Conference. Owen also was named
NAIA Honorable Mention All-American and was elected team
Coach Butts began his coaching career in
1973 at Vincent High School, but it has been at Shades Valley High School in
Birmingham that he established himself as one of the outstanding coaches in the
State of Alabama. He has been at Shades Valley since 1977. His coaching record
over the past 20 years has been phenomenal. Many times with less talented team
than his competition, he still has managed to record 400 plus wins, 12 Jefferson
County Championships, 11 Area/Regional Championships, and carried two teams to
the class 6A Final Four. His teams have recorded 20 or more wins 12 times and
he has been named Jefferson County Coach of the Year 8 times.
In 1192, Owen Butts was elected to the
Alabama Junior College Silver Anniversary Basketball Team. This, of course, was
to honor his contributions as a player, but it should be noted that Coach Butts
has sent numerous players of his own to continue their education at our junior
colleges throughout the state, a fact that underlines his loyalty to his own
Owen is married to the former Sue Garrett
and they have three children, Tonya, Polly, and David.