MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Following a five-year tenure that has seen him rise from assistant coach to associate head coach, Jason Butts has been elevated to West Virginia University’s third gymnastics head coach, Director of Athletics Oliver Luck announced today.
“Jason is a great young coach with lots of energy,” says Luck. “He is an exceptional recruiter, who will carry on the great traditions and national respect that Linda Burdette-Good has built with our gymnastics program. Jason is really looking forward to this coaching opportunity, and I believe he will continue the success that our gymnastics program has enjoyed for almost 40 years.”
A two-time (2009, ’10) Southeast Regional Assistant Coach of the Year, Butts has spent the last five seasons coaching the Mountaineers’ vault, floor and bars lineups under coach Burdette-Good, who announced her retirement on April 5 after 37 years of guiding the Mountaineers.
“Following in the footsteps of a legend like coach Linda Burdette-Good is an honor, and I am anxious to build on the 37-year foundation she has left behind,” Butts says. “I look forward to continuing her success and taking the team to new levels.
“I would like to thank Oliver Luck, Mike Parsons and Terri Howes for believing in me and the plan I have for Mountaineer gymnastics. I also would like to thank everyone at WVU for their support, and I am excited to work with the team’s staff in a new capacity. I have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the Mountaineer family over the last five years, and I am excited to continue my journey at West Virginia University. Most importantly, I am looking forward to working with the returning team and assistant coach Travis Doak and hit the ground running into next season.”
As the primary bars coach, Butts has produced three East Atlantic Gymnastics League (EAGL) individual bars champions, including 2011 outright victor Amy Bieski. Additionally, he helped guide Janáe Cox (2007) and Mehgan Morris (2009) to individual all-around NCAA Championships qualifications and coached Cox to 2007 first team All-America honors on floor.
Since joining the WVU staff as an assistant coach in 2007, the Mountaineers have produced a 98-44 record, competed at five straight NCAA Regional Championships and claimed the 2008 EAGL Championship. Additionally, Butts has coached nine EAGL individual champions, two individual all-around NCAA Championships qualifiers, three EAGL Outstanding Senior Gymnasts, two EAGL Gymnasts of the Year and 57 all-EAGL honorees.
While at WVU, Butts was elevated to assistant head coach in 2010 and associate head coach in 2011.
Butts brought 12 years of club coaching experience to WVU, most recently from Classic City Gymnastics Academy in Athens, Ga., where he trained males and females from 2001-06.
He guided the women and men to Junior Olympic Nationals during that stretch and sent athletes to the Region 8 Championships, while also assisting numerous gymnasts in earning Division I athletic scholarships in the process.
Butts has worked at the Woodward Camp (1994-96) and the Georgia Gym Dog Camp (2004-06). He competed as a competitive gymnast for 10 years, reaching Class I status, and was a Junior Olympic National Qualifier.
An Athens, Ga., native, Butts received a bachelor’s degree in business administration and management from Georgia in the fall of 2006. He is working toward a master’s in athletic coaching education at WVU and is expected to graduate this December.