Kristen Butler joined the Bucs coaching staff in September of 2012, coming to the Buccaneers after previously coaching at Mississippi Valley State University and the University of Florida.
Among her primary duties at Charleston Southern include working with CSU’s pitchers and catchers, while assisting Coach Winkler with all other coaching responsibilities on and off the field.
Butler guided the CSU pitching staff and rising junior Jennifer Giles to multiple records on the season as Giles tied with the CSU single season records in appearances (50), while leading the Big South in innings pitched (251.0), starts (41) and complete games (27). Giles also had a standout performance in the 2013 Big South Championships, striking out seven of the first batters she faced in recording a career-high 11 strikeouts against Presbyterian, before recording a 2-0 shutout over top-seed Coastal Carolina.
At Mississippi Valley State, Butler assisted with the team’s pitchers, catchers and hitters. In 2011-2012, she helped lead MVSU to the SWAC Conference Championship and a trip to the 2012 NCAA Regionals. Among the six players she coached to All-Conference honors was pitcher Alicia Lorenz, the Conference Pitcher of the Year. In 2012, Lorenz struck out a conference-high 169 batters in 167.2 innings, finishing the season with an undefeated conference record in earning First Team All-Conference and NFCA All-South Region Team honors. The MVSU coaching staff was also honored as the Conference Coaching Staff of the Year in 2012.
After being named the SEC Player of the Year in 2006, Kristen Butler switched roles to begin her coaching career as a student- assistant for the Gators in 2007. Butler assisted with catchers and hitters, during her coaching time with the Gators.
The Orlando, Fla. native was a four year starter for the Gators from 2003-2006, capping off her career by being named the 2006 SEC Player of the Year. During her time on the field for the Gators, Butler made a name for herself as a strong-armed catcher, finishing her career on top of many of the career leaderboards at Florida, including runners caught stealing, pickoffs and lowest stolen base percentage by a catcher. Also known for her powerful bat, Butler led the Gators in home runs, RBIs, slugging percentage and on-base percentage in her senior season, setting the school record for single season home runs with 17 and became only the second player in school history to record more than 50 RBIs in a season with 52. She ended her career ranked in the top 10 in nearly every career batting category. Among her accolades at Florida include: SEC All-Tournament team (2003), SEC Honor Roll (2003-2005), NFCA/Louisville Slugger Second-Team All-Southeast Region (2005), and NFCA/Louisville Slugger First-Team All-Southeast Region (2006).
Immediately following the end of her senior season at Florida in 2006, Butler signed a professional contract with the Akron Racers of the National Professional Fast Pitch League where she started at catcher for the Racers for four years. In 2007, Butler was coached by current CSU Head Coach, Shane Winkler. Following her 2007 and 2008 seasons, she was named to the All-National Fast Pitch League Team and she collected Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2008.
In the summer of 2007, Butler was invited to the USA National Team Tryouts in Chula Vista, California.
From 2009-2010, Butler played overseas in the Japan National League, becoming one of just six Americans to be invited to play in the prestigious league. Other USA players of note in Japan were Olympians Michelle Smith, Monica Abbott, Natasha Watley and Amanda Freed. While in Japan, she started as a catcher, third baseman and designated hitter, setting the Japanese national record with three home runs in one game.
From 2010-2011, she competed and played in the PFX Tour. The professional tour, run by former Olympian Dot Richardson, featured players such as current USA Olympian Lisa Fernandez, as well as many All-Americans.
Last season Butler signed a contract with NPF Chicago Bandits, where she finished second in the league with seven home runs and 29 RBIs, starting as catcher and designated player.
She currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with her husband, Marcus Smith.