KEENE, N.H.--The Keene State College soccer field will be renamed to honor former Keene State College men's soccer coach Dr. Ron Butcher. The field will be dedicated to the long-time coach as Ron Butcher Field in a ceremony on September 21, after the men's soccer game against Rhode Island College.
Butcher served as Keene State's head coach from 1970-2013, finishing with a record of 596-263-72 (.679) in a career that spanned three different divisions. Long considered the dean of men's soccer coaches in New England, Butcher had success at all levels of competition, leading the Owls to 31 postseason tournament appearances, including NCAA Division III berths 10 out of his final 17 years.
The Owls' longtime soccer guru was 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.
Honing his soccer coaching skills at Pittsfield (N.H.) High and later at Wisconsin-Platteville, where he got a chance to pick the brains of players and coaches running many of the Sunday leagues and camps in the area, Dr. Butcher, a goalkeeper by trade, was encouraged to look into the Keene State job by then-athletic director Ted Kehr and basketball coach Glenn Theulen. Dr. Butcher didn't disappoint them. Hired in 1970, and bringing in players from England and later Montreal, his teams became a juggernaut in the NAIA by reaching the national tournament multiple times throughout the '70s and early '80s.
Although his teams lacked the scholarships of its counterparts in the old New England Collegiate Conference, the Owls still found a way to win in Division II. Moving to Division III in the fall of 1997, Keene State earned an NCAA berth in eight of its first 10 seasons in the Little East Conference. A member of four different Halls of Fame, Butcher was inducted into the Keene State Hall of Fame in 2005, as well as the New Hampshire Soccer Coaches Hall of Fame (1998), the Plymouth State Hall of Fame (2001), and the Little East Conference Hall of Fame (2014).
Kick-off against Rhode Island College is scheduled for 3 p.m. The ceremony will take place following the conclusion of the game, with a reception to follow. Tickets can be bought online here: https://bit.ly/30oSumg
Keene State College soccer alums as well as Friends of Keene State Soccer are encouraged to contact Rick Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on the day's proceedings.