Dante' Butler is entering his third season as an assistant coach with the USC Upstate track & field program. Butler works primarily with sprinters, jumpers, hurdlers and relays.
In their first season under Butler’s direction, 15 new indoor and outdoor school records were set while Upstate student-athletes qualified for the NCAA Regional meet and the Junior Nationals.
Butler tutored Destinie Sykes as she became the first Upstate jumper to qualify for the NCAA regional meet as she claimed the ASUN title in the triple jump with a school-record mark of 41’ 2.5 inches. Sykes concluded her career with the second-fastest time in Upstate history in the 100-meter hurdles and third-fastest in the 400-meter hurdles.
During his freshman season, Noah Walker qualified for the USATF Junior Outdoor Championships in the 400-meter hurdles where he finished 18th. Walker’s qualifying time of 52.96 is the second-fastest in school history.
Patrick Jamison set the school record in the 400-meter dash as he claimed an ASUN title in the event with a time of 47.40.
Other standout outdoor performances in Butler’s first season came from Breondra Steele in the high jump. Kennedy Holton set school records in the 100-meter hurdles and 400-meter hurdles. Tanner Saunders set the 110-meter hurdle school record and is the school record holder in the 400-meter hurdles. Kayla Jordon and Courtney Bradley set the top two times in the 400-meter dash while the women’s 4x100-meter relay and 4x400-meter relay teams earned All-Conference honors.
The outdoor season accomplishments weren’t limited to the track as Desman Martin set the indoor and outdoor school records in the triple jump.
During the indoor season, Upstate student-athletes put their name on the top-10 list in several events with three All-Conference honorees at the ASUN Championships.
Butler came to Upstate after serving as a sprints and jumps coach at Wade Hampton High School where he led the men’s team to a seventh place finish and the women’s team to a 12th place finish at the state championship meet.
In a career that has taken him to several high schools in the region, Butler has coached a state champion in the 200-meter dash, 400-meter dash and 400-meter hurdles and has guided many others to qualifying for district and state meets. As the coach of the Greer All-Stars AAU team, Butler has won 13 consecutive state championships with 139 state champions in sprints and jumps and five national champions in sprints and hurdles.
He earned his bachelor’s degree from Clafflin University in 2006. While at Clafflin, Butler was a two-time conference and regional champion while running the 100-meter dash, 200-meter dash, 4x100-meter relay and 4x400-meter relay.