Butler named All-Area Boys Coach of Year
Under first-year head coach Jimmie Butler, the Brookhaven Panthers dominated the regular season, winning their first 18 games.
The Panthers rebounded after their first loss to finish the remainder of the season 4-4. Brookhaven returned to the Region 6-5A championship looking to repeat as district champs but fell to Provine 59-55. Brookhaven dominated South Jones 71-55 in the opening round of the state playoffs, before suffering a season-ending 55-54 loss to Pascagoula in the second round.
The Panthers finished the season with a 22-5 record.
For these accomplishments, Butler has been named The Daily Leader’s 2016 All-Area Boys Basketball Coach of the Year.
“It is a good feeling to know that someone thought that much of our program and to think of me for this nomination,” said Butler. “I would like to say thank you.”
Though Butler wasn’t happy with how the season ended, he was pleased with his team this year.
“We are happy with how the season progressed. Of course, we all wanted a different outcome, but none the less the players played to the best of their abilities and they were exciting to watch every night,” he said.
Butler will lose six seniors – Lazorian McNulty, Marte Jones, Darius Bryant, Darrian Wilson, Garrick Smith and Shon Blackwell – to graduation but has a talented group returning for next season.
“We have six senior players graduating that started or played valuable time during games. We are expecting to be young in many areas, but competitive,” said Butler. “We should be a guard-oriented team along with several young, big-body post players that have great potential. We also have several experienced guards returning to lead the team.”
Butler praised the Brookhaven School District administration and community support.
“The administration is very supportive of all the athletic programs,” he said. “The timing of the gym renovations was perfect. Our opponents often made positive comments about our facility. The community was also very supportive of the team during our home games and away games. The Booster Club, through partnership opportunities with several local businesses, was also very supportive throughout the entire season.”
Butler is a physical education instructor at Brookhaven High School. He is single father with four children – Jamesha, Demarcus, Jared and Jimmie III.