Rice University Owls football player Gary Butler
Black and white photograph of Rice University Owls football player Gary Butler, class of 1973, accompanied by text headlining his achievement and entry into the Rice Athletic Hall of Fame. Caption reads: Rice has had a host of exceptional ends, and this man was one of the best with a bunch of honors to prove it! Gary Butler was a second-team all-America tight end in 1972. In almost any other year he would have been a consensus first-team all-America, but that year was the season when Southern Cal pushed Charles Young as its top star while number one in the nation. As it was, Gary was the first NFL draft choice of the Kansas City Chiefs in the 1973 draft and started for coach Hank Stram’s Chiefs as a rookie in 1973. Despite a knee injury, Butler stayed in the NFL through 1977 with the Chiefs, Chicago Bears, Oakland, and Tampa Bay. His Rice years from fall of 1969 to spring of 1973 were good ones despite a flurry of grid coaching changes to play under Bo Hagan, Bill Peterson, and Al Conover. He led the Owls in receiving in 1971 and 1972 (also leading the conference in receiving that latter year) and was an all-SWC tight end and the recipient of the coveted George Martin Award as Owl MVP as a senior in 1972. In post-season action, he played in the North-South All-Star game, the Senior Bowl, and the Chicago All-Star game. Although he now lives in Aurora, Colorado, the big redhead was born in Houston and grew up in nearby Conroe. His birthdate is January 11, 1951. It was a recruiting coup for Rice in the transition period from Emmett Brunson to Augie Erfurth as track coach when the Owls got the blue chip duo of state pole vault champion Dave Roberts and state discus champion Butler from Conroe in 1969. Roberts went on to become the world record holder, while Butler competed brilliantly in track and football for the Owls. Butler has used his Rice education to good advantage as he now owns a petroleum landman consulting business, the Contex Energy Company; in Denver, while living in suburban Aurora. He married the former Libby Flower in 1975, and the couple has been blessed with three children in Katie (12), Blake (7), and Crokett (5). The husky redhead does some gardening, plays golf, and teaches his kids a bit of baseball. Now that he lives in Colorado he has taken up snow skiing, though he notes “I found out a mountain hits harder than any Aggie linebacker.” A splendid athlete who made his mark with the pros, and then did well in business and as a fine family man, Gary Butler of the 1972 Owls is a worth addition to the Rice Athletic Hall of Fame.
Rice Athletic Hall of Fame
Citable link to this pagehttp://hdl.handle.net/1911/63928
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