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 November 7, 2010

By Steve Carpenter, HCC Sports Information Director

He was on the Blue Dragon bench for nine seasons and oversaw the entire Blue Dragon athletic program for almost 20 more years.

As longtime Blue Dragon radio announcer Rusty Hilst said, there is no way the community could ever even up with all that Sam Butterfield has done for Hutchinson Community College, Blue Dragon basketball and the City of Hutchinson.

Butterfield was honored on Saturday night before the final game of the 2010 Quarterback Classic as the Sports Arena floor was named in his honor and will now be known as "Sam Butterfield Court."

Before the games on Saturday, the words "Sam Butterfield Court" were placed on the southwest and northeast corners of the Arena court.

Nearly all of Butterfield's family and more than 20 players whom he coached returned for the ceremony on Saturday at the Sports Arena.

HCC Quarterback Club president Terry Mann presented Butterfield with a clock and Hutchinson Mayor Cindy Proett proclaimed that Nov. 6, 2010 was Sam Butterfield day in the City of Hutchinson.

Hilst, the master of ceremonies, then read a letter from Gene Keady, who was unable to attend the ceremony. Keady took over for Butterfield as HCC head coach in 1966. In the letter, Keady said, "you are the best boss I ever had."

HCC president Ed Berger presented a plaque to Butterfield recognizing the court's new name. The plaque is the same that fans will see when they enter the arena. Both plaques will be permanently mounted at the southwest and northeast arena entrances.

Then came the official unveiling of Sam Butterfield Court took place with Butterfield's sons Scott and Steve doing the honors. Unveiled was a 3-foot by 5-foot poster of the Sports Arena and it read: Hutchinson Community College and The City of Hutchinson on this day, November 6, 2010, dedicate the Sports Arena court to forever be known as SAM BUTTERFIELD COURT.

Butterfield then took the mic and thanked all of his players for "starting this thing by winning so many games."

The entire group of players were introduced at halftime.

Hilst said of Butterfield in his opening comments, "(The Sports Arena) is the place that Charlie Sesher built. It's also the place that Sam Butterfield filled."

Butterfield spent nine seasons on the Blue Dragon bench. He compiled a record of 178-61, including a 68-22 Jayhawk Conference record. His 178 coaching victories are fourth on Hutchinson's coaches list behind only Sesher (259 wins), Gary Bargen (199 wins) and Keady (187 wins).

And Butterfield worked his magic with primarily Western Kansas talent. Not a multitude of players from Wichita or Kansas City or from outside the borders of the Sunflower State, but with young men from rural Kansas. In nine seasons, Butterfield started only one out-of-state player.

Butterfield won seven Jayhawk Conference titles and made four NJCAA Tournament appearances in 1958, 1960, 1961 and 1966, finishing third in 1958.


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