American Football Database
John Butler
Current position
TitleDefensive coordinator/Defensive backs coach
TeamPenn State
ConferenceBig Ten
Biographical details
Born (1973-04-03) April 3, 1973 (age 48)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Alma materCatholic University of America
Playing career
1991 - 1994Catholic University
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Catholic University (DB)
Catholic University (DC)
Texas (GA)
Midwestern State (DC/LB/Saf)
Southwest Texas State (ST/Saf)
Harvard (ST/LB)
Minnesota (ST/LB)
South Carolina (ST)
Penn State (DB)
Penn State (DC/DB)

John Butler (born April 3, 1973) is an American football coach who currently is the defensive coordinator and secondary coach for the Penn State Nittany Lions. He was promoted to his current role from secondary coach on January 9, 2013 over longer-tenured defensive assistants Larry Johnson and Ron Vanderlinden. Prior to working at Penn State, he served at a variety of colleges as an assistant coach, primarily for linebackers or special teams, most notably South Carolina and Minnesota.

Coaching career

Butler began his coaching career as an assistant at his alma mater, Catholic University, as a defensive backs coach before being promoted to defensive coordinator in 1996. He then progressed to Texas, where he served as a graduate assistant under both John Mackovic and Mack Brown in 1997 and 1998 respectively. After spending the next four years in the lower levels of college football, he returned to the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) in 2003 with Harvard, where he worked as the linebackers coach and special teams coach. His first connection to Ted Roof came from 2007-2010 while working for the Minnesota Golden Gophers as the linebackers coach under Roof. The Houston Texans hired Butler as a defensive assistant in the off-season, but then was hired by South Carolina where he served for one year.[1] Butler re-united with Roof on Bill O'Brien's staff at Penn State. After Roof moved back to his alma mater at Georgia Tech, Butler was promoted to defensive coordinator over two more experienced assistants, linebackers coach Ron Vanderlinden and defensive line coach Larry Johnson.[2][3]


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