Don Butcher, a native of Paintsville, Kentucky, began his coaching career in 1989 when he became an assistant coach at Cumberlands. His collegiate playing days were spent at Georgetown College. Twelve and a half years later, in November of 2000, he became the head coach of University of the Cumberlands making this his twelth year. During his first year as head coach he was named Mid-South Conference Coach of the Year with a 21-13 record. In 2003, Coach Butcher was named Co-Coach of the Year, while also recieving Coach of the Year in 2010-2011 season. Coach Butcher's career record now at Cumberlands is 226-98. He has been to the NAIA National Tournament nine times, in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2012 as a the head coach.
Coach Butcher came to Cumberlands because he felt it was, "A great place to work and a great place to be a student. Both the faculty and staff here want the students to succeed and you don't find that at every school. It starts with Dr. Taylor's commitment to athletic excellence and filters its way down to every person on campus. There is a proud tradition and they want to see it continue. All the coaches at Cumberlands should be grateful for the pledge of excellence the administration has made."
Coach Butcher feels the best thing about being a coach is, "working with and helping to mold young men. Teaching them that it is okay to ‘keep on keeping on!' by putting in an honest day's work even when you may see very little benefits from that day's work." He admits that the worst thing about being a coach is, "Players graduate and I lose contact with them." And the biggest disappointment is "every year we seem to lose our last game. I want one of my teams to be able to say they are the Champions!" Perhaps, most critical of himself, Coach Butcher says, "I'm not sure I've ever coached a good game. I am still trying to get one right." Coach Butcher says his best advice to athletes is to "get your college degree. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!!! Whatever you end up doing with your life, do it with pride."
Mark begins his eleventh year on the coaching sidelines having been a four-year veteran of the Patriot basketball squad.
Mark, a native of Williamsburg, was graduated in May 2002 with a BA in mathematics and business administration. He received NAIA Academic All-American honors twice and was three times named to the Mid-South Conference Academic team. He has been to the NAIA National Tournament nine times, in 2001 and 2002 as a player and in 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2012 as a coach.
Mark also, coached at Rowan County High School in Morehead, KY in 2004. He was the head junior varsity boys coach and an assistant varsity boys coach.
Steven Wright is entering his first season as an Assistant Coach for the Patriots. Wright is a native of Dayton, Ohio. He is a graduate of Bowling Green State University where he earned a Bachelor's Degree in Liberal Arts with a minor in Recreation. He also attended Northern Kentucky University for one year. Wright had three successful years at Bowling Green State and one standout season at NKU earning a plethora of accomplishments. Wright was named a NCAA Division II All-American and the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) Player of the Year in 2007 as a member of Northern Kentucky University. He led the Norse to a 24-9 record that season averaging 16.8 points and 5.3 rebounds per game.
After his college career, Coach Wright took his talents overseas to Europe where he played 5 seasons professionally. His first 4 seasons he spent in the top league in Germany playing for Duesseldorf, Walter Tigers, Webmoebel, and NY Phantoms. He spent his last season of professional basketball in Finland playing for Namika Lahti. In his only year in Finland, Wright averaged 15.8 points and 4.5 rebounds per game while shooting an impressive 45.7% from the field.
Coach Wright begins his first year in his coaching career at UC this season and is excited to be here. He commented, "I love having the ability to engage with others that love the game of basketball. Being able to help the athletes develop, compete, and soar is exciting."
What was also a huge draw to UC were the campus and the people around it. Wright commented, "I think the University has a beautiful campus and is a great place. I find it very relaxing. The faculty is very nice and to be a part of an outgoing group that works together will be great. "
Coach Wright has been married to his wife Whitney for 5 years and has two children, Camryn and Jordyn.