Georgetown women’s basketball coach Tasha Butts dies at the age of 41 after battle with breast cancer

Georgetown women's basketball coach Tasha Butts dies

Tasha Butts, the women’s basketball coach at Georgetown University, died on Monday, October 23, 2023, after a two-year battle with breast cancer. She was 41. Her untimely demise has left a void in the basketball community, with tributes pouring in from all corners to honor her indomitable spirit and significant contributions to the sport.

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Tasha’s Early Life

Born in Milledgeville, Georgia, Tasha was a prodigious talent from her high school days at Baldwin High School. She was a consensus All-American and was honored as the Georgia Gatorade Player of the Year. Her exceptional skills on the court led her to become the all-time leading scorer at her school, a feat that saw her jersey No. 23 retired in December 2000.

Butts’ collegiate career was equally illustrious. Playing under the legendary coach Pat Summitt at the University of Tennessee from 2000 to 2004, she was instrumental in leading the Lady Vols to a remarkable 124-17 record. This period saw the team clinch four SEC regular-season titles and make three appearances in the NCAA Final Fours. Her senior year was particularly noteworthy, with Butts averaging 10.4 points per game and securing All-SEC Second Team honors.

Coaching Career

Butts’ transition from a player to a coach was seamless. She began her coaching journey as a graduate assistant under Pat Summitt during the 2004-05 season. Her coaching stints included roles at Duquesne, UCLA, and LSU. At LSU, she was part of six NCAA Tournament appearances, further solidifying her reputation as a top-tier coach.

In April 2019, she joined the Georgia Tech women’s basketball staff, eventually being promoted to associate head coach in 2021. Under her guidance, Georgia Tech made back-to-back appearances in the NCAA Tournament, even reaching the Sweet 16 for the second time in the program’s history. However, it was during this period, in November 2021, that Butts publicly announced her diagnosis with advanced stage metastatic breast cancer. Despite the challenges, she continued to play a pivotal role within the program, inspiring the “Tasha Tough” campaign aimed at raising awareness and funds for breast cancer care.

April 2023 marked a significant milestone in Butts’ career when she was appointed as the head coach of Georgetown’s women’s basketball team. Her excitement about this new role was palpable. “It has always been a dream of mine, and to be awarded this opportunity to coach at such a prestigious institution is beyond any words,” she had remarked.

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What was Tasha Tough Campaign?

The “Tasha Tough” campaign, initiated during her time at Georgia Tech, became a beacon of hope and inspiration for many. It not only highlighted Butts’ resilience but also aimed to provide quality care to women battling breast cancer who couldn’t afford it. The campaign was associated with the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, further amplifying its reach and impact.

Georgetown women’s basketball head coach Tasha Butts dies

The news of Butts’ passing was met with profound sorrow. “Our program is heartbroken to lose a member of our Lady Vol sisterhood much, much too soon,” remarked UT head coach Kellie Harper. Georgetown athletic director Lee Reed echoed similar sentiments, praising Butts for her drive, passion, and determination.

Georgia Tech coach Nell Fortner said, “Tasha was so instrumental to the success of this program. We are proud of her fight to the end. We will forever love Tasha. She will forever be missed.”

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