PBA Cross Country Announces New Head Coach in Trish Butler
February 4, 2011
Written By: Michael Brown, Assistant A.D. for Athletic Communications
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.- Palm Beach Atlantic University President Lu Hardin announced on Friday morning the hiring of Trish Butler to the position of head cross country coach to guide the Sailfish. An accomplished coach and competitive runner throughout her career, Butler brings not only the knowledge of competitive racing but also the passion and drive to inspire student-athletes to perform to the best of their abilities.
Butler will take over the coaching reigns from former PBA coach and friend Sonja Friend-Uhl who moved with her family to Nashville, Tennessee with her husband pursuing a new position.
“We feel as if we have found the right person in Trish to continue the development of our cross country program,” said PBA Athletic Director Bob White.
“Our team made great strides last season as we continue to build up the sport at Palm Beach Atlantic with our first All-American in Meghan Gilmore and some outstanding team improvements over the course of last Fall,” continued White.
A former runner at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina, Butler was a part of the Lady Wolfpack women’s cross country team that claimed the AIAW National Championship in 1980. Before joining the N.C. State team, Butler was a four-time state champion high school runner at Perkiomen Valley High School in Graterford, Pennsylvania.
For the past six seasons Butler has been the head coach of both the men’s and women’s cross country teams at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale where she was recently named the Girls Coach of the Year by the Sun-Sentinel after leading the boys and girls teams to a perfect 32-0 record. The boys team was the BCAA champion for the sixth year in a row while the girls claimed the title for the first time since 2006.
Both the girls and boys teams were named District Champions in 2010 while the girls finished sixth and the boys eighth at the FHSAA State Finals.
Not only active in coaching, Butler still finds time to compete individually as well as she is a nationally ranked master’s runner. The USTATF Florida Executive Committee named Butler the “Masters Athlete of the Year” in 2008 while being named a All-American by USA Masters Track and Field in the 1500 meters at the Miami Elite Invitational in 2006.
A certified coach and trainer, Butler is a USATF certified level one trainer.
A mother of three, Butler’s daughter Jess Butler is currently a standout cross country runner at the University of Tampa.
With offseason training set to start in just a few weeks, the Palm Beach Atlantic cross country team will be anxious to get training with the new leader of the Sailfish, Trish Butler.