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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Andre Butler has joined the Penn State baseball coaching staff full time after a two-year stint as a volunteer assistant coach, as head coach Rob Cooper named him as an assistant coach Friday.
Butler will take a lead role with the team’s hitters and continue to work with the team’s outfielders.
“Penn State has become a very special place to me during my past two years as the volunteer assistant,” said Butler. “Being a PA native, I can’t imagine a better institution to work for. I am extremely excited and grateful for my new role as a full-time assistant coach. I want to thank Coach Cooper and the Penn State administration for this opportunity. I look forward to continuing to represent this program in a high-class manner while developing the best student-athletes in the country.”
Butler’s outfielders were the team’s standout position players last season. True freshman Braxton Giavedoni was the team’s batting champ and Jordan Bowersox was batting a team-best .333 in 33 games before an injury ended his season in April. Another true freshman, Mason Nadeau, batted above .300 in an injury-hampered 35-game season. The “Graveyard” was key in a walk-off win over No. 22 Nebraska in May, as Nadeau scored the game-tying run when Giavedoni reached on an error, and then Giavedoni was driven home by fellow outfielder Nick Riotto for the game-winning run. It was Penn State’s third win in nine days over a top-40 RPI team and first win over a ranked team since 2015.
The Philadelphia-area native’s first season at Penn State was one of the program’s best in recent history, as the Nittany Lions earned their first winning record since 2012 and doubled their Big Ten win total from the previous season. They were led in part by an outfielder under Butler’s tutelage, Greg Guers, who was named to the All-Big Ten second team to become the first Nittany Lion hitter since 2012 to earn the honor.
“I am so excited to be able to promote Andre,” said Cooper. “He is the epitome of what we want in the coaching profession. He is an extremely hard worker who truly believes in what Penn State stands for. He is a rising star in the coaching profession and we are lucky to have him.”
Butler spent the 2015 season as an assistant coach at DeSales University in Center Valley, Pennsylvania, where he worked with the hitters, outfielders, and base runners. DeSales baserunners stole 115 bases in 2015 en route to a 19-2 conference record.
For the 2013 and 2014 seasons, Butler served as an assistant at the University of Pennsylvania, where he worked primarily with the outfielders. Butler helped the Quakers to a 15-5 Ivy League record in 2014, which was their best Ivy League record since 2003.
Prior to his stint at Penn, Butler spent one season as an assistant coach at Swarthmore College.
Butler graduated from Eastern University (St. Davids, Pa.) in 2012 with a degree in secondary education and was a four-year starter on the baseball team. He concluded his career as one of the program’s all-time greats, ranking second in career batting average and fourth in career hits.
Butler has been active in the Philadelphia-area community. He started his own tee ball league in West Philadelphia called the "Jackie Robinson West Philly League" for boys and girls ages eight and under. The league was affiliated with the Major League Baseball Urban Youth Academy.
Butler resides in Boalsburg and will marry his fiancé, Chantee, in July 2018.