For the first time in 15 years, there’s a new football coach at Butler Community College.
Butler announced Wednesday morning that it has hired Butler defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Tim Schaffner to replace Troy Morrell, who shocked the junior-college football world when he announced his resignation on Dec. 23 after 15 seasons, three NJCAA titles and 12 Jayhawk Conference championships.
Schaffner, who has been at Butler for 10 years, is one of the most decorated assistant coaches in the NJCAA and has been a part of two NJCAA titles, in 2007 and 2008, and two NJCAA runner-up finishes, in 2010 and 2012, with the Grizzlies.
Associate head coach Steve Braet had been serving as interim coach since Morrell’s resignation.
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“I am excited for the opportunity to stay at Butler as the leader of the football program,” Schaffner said. “I’m excited and humbled by the challenges that lie ahead of us.
“I am proud of the work we’ve done here and I look forward to carrying on the strong traditions that make Butler special. We will strive for us to maintain the integrity and class that has come to define this program over the past 17 years.”
Butler’s defense has been dominant under Schaffner. From 2007 to 2013, the Grizzlies led the Jayhawk Conference in scoring defense, total defense and rushing defense and posted 21 shutouts. His tenure has also included five Jayhawk Conference defensive players of the year and three NJCAA defensive players of the year — Austin Panter (2006), Markus White (2007) and Cornellius Carradine (2010).
Another one of his proteges, Dallas Cowboys defensive end Demarcus Lawrence, had the game-winning sack, forced fumble and fumble recovery in the Cowboys’ playoff win over the Detroit Lions on Sunday.
Schaffner, who came to Butler after being the defensive coordinator at Eastern Arizona, has one stint of previous head coaching experience at Ranger College in Ranger, Texas. Ranger dropped football in 2007.
Any action with the coaching search happened in a hurry — Butler athletic director Todd Carter said Saturday night that he hadn’t contacted or interviewed any candidates in the two weeks since Morrell’s resignation.
“It was 15 years ago when we promoted our offensive coordinator to be our head coach and the results speak for themselves,” Carter said. “We believe that by promoting Tim, we will maintain the continuity that has seen our program dominate the Jayhawk Conference for the past 17 seasons.”