A familiar name has come back to lead Carson High’s boys and girls golf teams this year.
Rod Butler, who coached the Carson boys team for five years prior to Terry Gingell and Jeff Rispin, was named the head coach of both teams Tuesday by athletic director Bob Bateman. Butler replaces Jeff Rispin, who has accepted a teaching position in Las Vegas.
Butler, a math teacher at Carson Middle School, is a former collegiate golfer and a scratch golfer himself.
“I’m at a point now where my kids (Dalton and Jarod) are old enough to take care of themselves,” Butler said when asked what made him return. “When I left, they were involved in Little League and Pop Warner, and I wanted to be out there for their events. Both are in high school now and doing their own thing. It gave me an opportunity to go back and look into coaching.”
And, Bateman is happy to have him back.
“He was involved in our program for several years and did a great job,” Bateman said. “He played extensively on the amateur circuit. He’s a very good golfer, and he’ll do a good job.”
Dalton Butler is the Senators’ No. 1 golfer entering the spring season. Jarod Butler plays football and wrestles.
The elder Butler admits he doesn’t know anything about this year’s girls team.
“I’ve followed the team when Terry (Gingell) coached through newspaper articles,” Butler said. “I talked a lot to Jeff about his team. I haven’t met any of the girls yet.”
Butler said he hasn’t seen a copy of this year’s schedule as of yet, or even how many girls signed up to play this year. He admits his knowledge can help an individual player on the girls side more. Part of that is many guys play more often and have probably had lessons at one time or another, while girls tend to be seasonal players.
“Originally, I applied for the girls position,” Butler said. “There are very few dominant players in girls golf. If you have a girl who shoots 95 and you can get her down to 85, she can get a scholarship somewhere. For the guys, your golf career is over if you’re shooting 85.”
The new coach isn’t even sure how many players return to the boys squad, which reached the regionals last year.
“I don’t know how many are left (other than Dalton),” coach Butler said. “I’d like to bring some stability to the program. Last year they would play well and then fall back.”
Butler said his practices will be different than what some kids are used to.
“We’re not just going out and playing nine holes everyday,” he said. “I’m going to run my program like other coaches do in other sports. We’re going to work on chipping. We’re going to putt. We’re going to be hitting bunker shots.”
Butler also believes you have to play as much as possible to have success in the sport. He would like to see all his players involved in the junior tournament circuit, or playing and practicing in the off-season.
“You look at the (tournament) results, and you might see one or two kids from Carson,” Butler said. “Everybody else is from Reno.”