What’s The Word: Kevin Butler

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What’s The Word: Kevin Butler

Kevin Butler - Georgia vs. UMass 2018
Kevin Butler – Georgia vs. UMass 2018

 
 
You might say the greatest leg to ever come through UGA. Maybe you say he is the greatest leg to ever go through Chicago. Either way, I call him a legend. In my book, he is one of the greatest kickers and an even better person. This Super Bowl winning, 61-yard kicking, No. 5 wearing is the one and only Kevin Butler. I was so honored to speak with him.
 
 
BACKGROUND
 
Savannah, Ga. is the birthplace of Kevin Butler, and he was raised in Stone Mountain, Ga. In 1979, he and the Red Raiders of Redan High School won a state championship. It was a 17-14 win on a Kevin Butler field goal to beat Marist High School. Following high school, he attended the University of Georgia. He met his beloved wife, a cheerleader, the now Cathy Butler, here at UGA. He broke records on the gridiron every Saturday in Athens splitting uprights and sailing kicks out of the end zone. “That led me to the next phase of my life, which was getting drafted by the Chicago Bears,” Butler said. “You know winning the Super Bowl my first year there, and getting married two weeks later.” After 16 years in Chicago, he and his family returned to Atlanta, where they raised their three kids, Drew, Scarlett, and Savannah. Butler said, “It’s been a great trip, and it was all really shaped through the state of Georgia and the University of Georgia.”
 
 
DOOLEY MEMORY
 
“Coach Dooley’s military background carried himself and that’s how he expected us to carry ourselves on and off the field. Discipline was at the top, but he was very fair and very supportive,” Butler said. “My first kick, I’ll never forget it. It was the Tennessee game. I am a freshman and following Rex Robinson, the greatest kicker that has ever been at Georgia. I go out for my first kick, and I think it was a 27-yarder, but I almost kicked it out of bounds it was so bad. I came over to the sideline, and he said to me, ‘Why don’t you try to breath next time.’ That was kind of funny because from that point on, before every kick I took a deep breath and blew it out. Something as simple as that was the first piece of advice Coach Dooley really ever gave me.”
 
 
DOOLEY NICKNAME
 
“The General!” A name that fits both his character and coaching style, this was Butler’s idea for the perfect Dooley nickname. “He is all-knowing and constantly in charge.”
 
 
TECH MEMORY
 
“Freshman year, we were playing in Atlanta, and we threw a bomb to Lindsay Scott. We just went on a roll after that, and beat them pretty good [44-7],” Butler recollected. “I kicked three field goals that game. That first Georgia-Georgia Tech game for me is the most important because you’re not only playing in it, you’ve been a fan of it leading up to that point. Being in Georgia, I knew the importance of it to both schools. So winning that first one and being down on the field to experience it, I will never forget that.”
 
 
COMING BACK TO GEORGIA AS AN UNDERGRADUATE
 
“I was there to finish my education, something that I did not finish because of being drafted by the Bears.” Butler returned to complete his degree, but also served as an undergraduate assistant to the football team. An assistant that is “paid with t-shirts and shoes.” He elaborated on his time as an assistant and said, “It was such an honor to coach with Coach Smart and his staff and help them out. I certainly was not a coach in a sense that all of them are, but I brought value to players who previously did not have a kicking coach, and post Kevin Butler do not have a kicking coach.”
 
 
RODRIGO
 
Butler commented on Rodrigo Blankenship, “I think the given attribute of a kicker, if you are kicking at this level, is certainly to have a strong leg. Some may be stronger meaning they kick farther, but it’s about accuracy. I think the kids at this level have that ability. The difference in Rod is his confidence. Confidence comes from having a routine, sticking to that routine, and believing in yourself. Rod was all over the place to begin with, and he needed to narrow his thought process down. He certainly has, and his ability right now is the ceiling. I really believe that he is in a great place to possibly go pro next year. Kickers create value, so if Rod finishes out this year strong, I do not believe his value can go any higher. Right now, Rod is as good as it gets.”
 
 
PODCAST – FOOT AND MOUTH
 
“We were just sitting around trying to think of a name, and I am obviously a kicker, foot, and there he [Jeff Dantzler] is, the mouth. He knows everything and it just rolls off his tongue.” Butler continued, “The best part about the podcast is working with JD in a little different atmosphere than what we are boxed into with Georgia. I think we can give our perspective a little bit more on other things besides just football. I enjoy his friendship, and he pulls out some pretty great stories, and I’ve been lucky enough to have accomplished neat things over my life, so telling our stories to each other can be very entertaining.”
 
 
BULLDOG BRUNCH BEST CALLER  
“I’d have to go with Killer. She has been one of our faithfuls. We open up the show on Sundays with Killer each week, and she’s got a raspy voice that makes you think of Demi Moore.”
 
 
 
 

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