On Saturday, February 11th, the current team and family and friends of Coach Kurt Butler gathered at the McConnell Family Boathouse for a surprise dedication in his honor; the team recently purchased a Vespoli VHP 8+ to be named the "Coach Kurt Butler". Gathered around the new boat, past rowers who had been coached by Kurt Butler recounted countless memories, speaking of Butler's fiery passion, his commitment to the development of the whole individual, and his love of Notre Dame Rowing.
Kurt Butler coached the Notre Dame Men's Rowing Team from Fall 2001 to Spring 2012; under his leadership, the V8, 2V8, N8, and 2N8 medalled at the ACRA National Championship Regatta. Most importantly, Coach Butler was able to grow the team immensely--his final year of coaching at Notre Dame featured four eights.
From the perspective of someone who had never met Coach Butler prior to Saturday's dedication, it was remarkable to witness how many lives Coach Butler impacted. From the stories of his past rowers, it was evident that he was much more than just a coach to an extraordinary amount of people. It was an honor for the team to be able to name our new shell after such an outstanding individual.