Set to begin his 43rd season on the sidelines, Dr. Ron Butcher has established himself as an institution as the head men’s soccer coach at Keene State College for his success and longevity
Entering the 2013 season fifth on the list for all-time for most victories (589) by a men's college soccer coach and third among active coaches in Division III, Dr. Ron Butcher is the dean of men's soccer coaches in New England. Butcher has had success at all levels of competition, leading the Owls to 31 postseason tournament appearances, including NCAA Division III berths 10 out of the past 16 years.
A master motivator and strategist, Butcher will be tested again this season as his Owls set about the task of regaining the Little East Conference tournament title and making a return trip to the NCAA championship. During his tenure, KSC has claimed six LEC crowns (1999, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2010- three shared), reached the finals nine times, posting a conference-best record of 84-19-9 and a tournament mark of 15-7-2.
Butcher, demonstrated his soccer sorcery last season, helping the Owls recover from a slow start to finish second in the LEC before being upset in the semifinal round of the tournament. His 2011 team reached the finals, coming within one penaley kick goal of earning an NCAA berth. Edging R.I. College 1-0 in the 2010 championship, KSC won its sixth LEC crown, the most by any LEC program.
Butcher’s ability to get the most out of his teams has
been prevalent throughout his coaching career. Under his
guidance, KSC bounced back from a slow start to earn a NCAA berth
in 2007. The Owls posted wins over perennial powers Williams
College and eventual NCAA champs Middlebury College. His 2005
team upset Wheaton College (4-1) and advanced to the NCAA regional
finals. In 2004, KSC posted regular season wins over
Williams, Wheaton and Middlebury on the way to capturing the LEC
title and a hosting the regional NCAA tournament. Butcher was named
the New England Region Coach of the Year by the National Soccer
Coaches Association of America in 2002 after he led third-seeded
KSC to upset wins over Wheaton College and Williams College and a
third Little East tournament championship. His 2003 squad reached
the ECAC Tournament finals.
Since arriving at Keene State in 1970, Coach Butcher has been the chief architect in building an Owl soccer program that has amassed an impressive 580-236-71 mark during his 42-year tenure. Consider also the large number of All-America, All-New England, and All-Conference players who have worn a KSC uniform over the years, and it's easy to see why Keene State has one of the elite soccer programs in the region. KSC has produced 72 All-LEC players since 1997.
Owner of an overall 589-250-72 (.686 pct.) career mark over 44 years, Butcher celebrated his milestone 500th win with a 2-0 victory over Western Conn. on Sept. 17, 2005. Inducted into the KSC Alumni Athletic Hall of Fame in 2005, the Owls' longtime soccer guru has been recognized often for his coaching accomplishments. He was awarded NAIA Coach of the Year honors in 1974 and 1981, was named the NEISL Division II New England Coach of the Year in 1991, and received LEC coaching honors in 1999, 2002, 2010 and 2011.
Originally from Weston, Mass., Butcher attended Plymouth State College, where he spent four years tending goal for the Panthers. He coached two seasons at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville before coming to Keene State. During his coaching career, which includes almost 850 contests, Butcher has maintained his enthusiasm for the game.
All-Time Career Wins
621 Jay Martin*, Ohio Wesleyan
618 Tony Tocco*, Rockhurst
607 Joe Bean, Wheaton, Bridgeport, Quinnipiac
597 Cliff McGrath, Seattle Pacific, Spring Arbor, Gordon, Wheaton
589 Ron Butcher*, UW-Platteville, Keene State
544 Jerry Yeagley, Indiana
540 Steve Negoesco, San Francisco
Active Career Wins - Division III
621 Jay Martin, Ohio Wesleyan
618 Tony Tocco, Rockhurst
589 Ron Butcher, UW-Platteville, Keene State