UCSB’s athletic conference has a new leader.
Dan Butterly, senior associate commissioner of the Mountain West Conference, was named on Monday to succeed Dennis Farrell as commissioner of the Big West Conference.
He will start on June 1 and work alongside Farrell, who will officially retire on July 1 after 40 years with the Big West and 28 as its commissioner.
Butterly, who has worked in the Mountain West for the last 21 years, will become the fifth commissioner in the 51-year history of the Big West. He follows Farrell (1992-2020), Jim Haney (1988-92), Lew Cryer (1978-88) and Jess Hill (1972-78).
“He is visionary, highly respected and experienced, and his strong commitment to academic and athletic success makes him a great match with our conference’s values,” said Jane Close Conoley, chair of the Big West’s Board of Presidents and Chancellors.
Butterly has served as the primary sport and championship administrator for Mountain West men’s basketball.
“The member institutions in the Big West reside in the most innovative cities in the nation, and I want to help foster innovation and research into our approach,” he said. “College athletics face significant challenges … As college athletics reset, it is a time for the Big West to reestablish our brand and how we fit not only nationally, but within the region, our cities and our fan bases.”
Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson described Butterly as “one of the most organized, detail-oriented and driven collegiate administrators I’ve worked with.”
“He leaves nothing for chance and is meticulous in his actions whatever the project, whether that’s running championships, scheduling or television negotiations,” Thompson said.
Butterly, who received his bachelor’s degree from Illinois State University and his masters of sports Administration degree at Ohio University, spent nearly six years working for the Missouri Valley Conference before serving the Mountain West.
AVCA RECOGNIZES UCSB’S JONES
UCSB assistant women’s volleyball coach Matt Jones has been named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association’s “Thirty Under-30 List” as one of the sport’s up-and-coming coaching talents.
Jones helped head coach Nicole Lantagne Welch guide the Gauchos to a 23-6 record and advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament last season.
“I hope that I am giving everything I can to UCSB to help (Welch) achieve her goals for the program and I will hold onto receiving this award as affirmation of that effort,” Jones said. “However, I know that I need to find ways to give more from 30-40 than I did under 30 in order to help us push this program even higher.”
Jones has served on Welch’s staff for the last three seasons.
SBCC HONORS ATHLETES, COACHES
Santa Barbara City College has moved its annual athletic awards ceremony to a virtual, online platform, while also separately honoring its top athletes and coaches from the fall/winter and spring seasons, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our students, coaches and staff have it bad enough with their seasons being cancelled and having to deal with the difficulties of the situation we are all in,” director of athletics Rocco Constantino said. “The last thing we wanted to do was cancel the ceremony at which we honor all of their great accomplishments from this past year, and there were many.”
The male athletes of the year were football’s Jacob Shultz (fall/winter) and baseball’s Ryan Guardino (spring), while the female athletes of the year were basketball’s Alondra Jimenez (fall/winter) and swimming’s Hana Wigzell (spring).
Winning the Bob Dinaberg Men’s Coach of the Year Awards were soccer’s John Sisterson (fall/winter) and volleyball’s Jon Newton (spring). The Pat Moorhouse Women’s Coaches of the Year were basketball’s Sandrine Krul (fall/winter) and tennis’ Christina Klein (tennis).
Also honored were women’s water polo and swimming star Emily Reilly as the Scholar-Athlete of the Year (3.88 grade-point average); beach volleyball player Lea Bueker with the Louise Lowry Davis Inspirational Leadership Award, and Chris Born with the Student Worker Award.