Coach: Randy Butler
School: Columbia Academy
Years coaching: 38th year of coaching; first year at Columbia Academy.
WDAM: How do you motivate your team each time before they hit the field?
Butler: All players are different. They have different personalities and DNA. As a coach, you're always searching for motivational tools. To me, the best way to motivate is to get to know each kid and communicate with him. Earn his respect by being honest, caring and knowledgeable. We also use quotes by other coaches and Bible verses to motivate the players.
WDAM: What is your proudest moment as a football coach and why?
Butler: My proudest moment was being on the staff at Southern Miss in the 1997 Liberty Bowl win over Pittsburgh.
WDAM: What are you looking forward to this season with your players?
Butler: I'm looking forward to getting to know each one a little more, having been hired in May. I'm still trying to figure out the team's personality.
WDAM: Do you have a motto for your team? If so, what is it and how did you come up with it?
Butler: Right now, our motto has been "FINISH." They came close to making the playoffs last year. I want to see them finish everything they set out to do: school work, practice reps and doing things right socially.
WDAM: Who is your greatest role model either personally or as a coach? Why?
Butler: I have two. My father was a quiet person, but had a lot of integrity. He taught me right from wrong. Bobby Collins was my college coach. He was a man with hardly an ego, but was knowledgeable and personable.
WDAM: What mistakes have you made in your coaching career and how have you been able to learn from those mistakes?
Butler: As a young coach, I thought you were supposed to yell and scream! I'm a teacher first. It's all about communication and putting them in a great learning situation.
WDAM: What are some ways you help your players off the field?
Butler: Before they leave the field everyday, we talk about making great decisions spiritually, socially, academically and athletically. I try to text them all occasionally some motivational quotes.
WDAM: How do you plan on improving as a coach from year to year?
Butler: I try to learn from reading football books written by great coaches. I try to talk at least once a week to coaching buddies on what they're doing.
WDAM: How has coaching affected your life?
Butler: You can't be a good coach and not care about young people and their lives away from the game. It's also taught me to be tough-minded and disciplined.
NOTE: This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.