I mentioned this one in today’s DAILY DIRT. It’s now official – Charleston Southern Associate Head Coach Tee Butters has been hired as an assistant at Arkansas State. Here’s the press release from ASU:
Arkansas State men’s basketball head coach Bryan Hodgson announced Thursday that Thomas ‘Tee’ Butters will join the Red Wolves’ staff as an assistant coach. Butters spent the past nine seasons at Charleston Southern, including the last four as Associate Head Coach.
“We’re thrilled to have Tee Butters joining our staff here in Jonesboro,” said Hodgson. “Tee is a great basketball mind and has helped run the offense at Charleston Southern. We have known each other for almost 15 years since running summer camps, and we’ve stayed in touch ever since. He is a proven coach on both sides of the ball and is a huge addition to our staff with his strong player-development skills with guards. I look forward to having his wife, Lauren, and their two boys, Thomas and Hudson, in the Jonesboro community.”
Among 12 participants in the Jay Bilas Coaches Leadership Program last summer, Butters has been a quick riser in the coaching ranks. In the last nine seasons on staff at Charleston Southern, he has served as Associate Head Coach (2019-23), Assistant Coach (2017-19) and Director of Operations and Video Coordinator (2014-17).
“I am very excited and blessed for the opportunity to join Coach Hodgson at Arkansas State,” Butters said. “I’ve had the privilege to work alongside some tremendous coaches with great staffs over the years, and this opportunity will be no different. Coach Hodgson’s ability to relate, lead and develop young men are just a few of his noteworthy qualities that attracted me to join his staff. The vision of the administration and the school and the support of the Jonesboro community make this an even more exciting and unique opportunity. My wife, Lauren, and our two sons cannot wait to get to Jonesboro and be a part of the A-State family.”
This past season, Butters saw Claudell Harris Jr. blossom into one of the top scorers in the Big South Conference. Harris Jr. averaged 17.5 points per contest, second-best in the league, while also finishing in the top three in field goal percentage (.473) and top four in free throw percentage (.796). In the 2021-22 season, Harris Jr. and Taje’ Kelly were named to the Big South All-Freshman Team. Harris Jr. averaged 10.1 points and 4.3 rebounds while Kelly posted 8.7 points per game on 58 percent shooting.
In his sixth season on staff, Charleston Southern knocked off SEC member Missouri (68-60 on Dec. 3, 2019), giving the Bucs wins over four Power 5 programs. Despite injuries and a smaller rotation towards the end of the season, Butters helped the Bucs reach the Big South quarterfinals once again while Phlandrous Fleming Jr. was named the Big South Defensive Player of the Year.
During Butters’ second year as an assistant coach, the Bucs’ 2018-19 season saw another Big South semifinals run as the No. 6 seed by upending the No. 3 Winthrop in the quarterfinals and No. 10 USC Upstate in the opening round. CSU ranked among the best of the Big South last season in scoring offense (5th – 75.7 PPG), scoring defense (3rd – 69.7 PPG) and turnover margin (1st – +3.44).
In his first season as an assistant in 2017-18, Butters helped a young CSU team win eight of its final 11 games. The Bucs beat eventual Big South Tournament champion Radford on the road, picked up their first victory at Winthrop since 2002 and twice pushed UNC Asheville, the league’s regular season champion, to the brink.
Butters was named CSU’s Director of Basketball Operations in August of 2015. He helped CSU to the winningest regular season in program history in 2014-15, as the program captured its second Big South regular-season title in a three-year span.
A 2011 graduate of Clemson, Butters was a graduate assistant and student manager with the Tigers’ basketball programs under both Oliver Purnell and Brad Brownell. He spent five years at Clemson and was head manager for the 2010-11 season. As a graduate assistant during the 2011-12 campaign, Butters aided in player development, helped coordinate recruiting visits and assisted Clemson’s players academically. He also worked at several elite basketball camps from 2008-11, including Mike Krzyzewski’s Duke Basketball Camp, as well as Oliver Purnell and Brad Brownell’s camps at Clemson. He also spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Riverside High School in Durham, N.C.
Butters and his wife, Lauren, have two sons, Thomas and Hudson. Butters is the grandson of former Duke Athletic Director Tom Butters, who hired Mike Krzyzewski in 1980.
Thomas Butters File
2011-12 | Clemson – Graduate Assistant
2012-14 | Riverside HS (Durham, N.C.) – Assistant Coach
2014-17 | Charleston Southern – Director of Operations/Video Coordinator
2017-19 | Charleston Southern – Assistant Coach
2019-23 | Charleston Southern – Associate Head Coach