Washington, D.C. � The University of the District of Columbia is proud to announce that Lester L. Butler, Jr.,head coach of the women�s basketball team, has been named 2009 National Coach of the Year for Division II (Women). Butler was chosen through a nationwide fan poll conducted by the Heritage Sports Radio Network (HRSN). Results were released this week.
National Coach of the Year for Lester Butler is a fitting end to one of the most successful seasons in Firebird history. Under Butler, the Firebirds spent most of the 2008-2009 season nationally ranked, reaching a peak of No. 16 on the USA Today ESPN Division II Coaches� Top 25 Poll. They finished the regular season with a 24-4 record and ranked 20th among NCAA Division II schools. They were No. 8 in the Atlantic region. The Firebirds participated in the 2009 Independent Women's Basketball Tournament in St. Augustine, Florida, winning both games.
But as head coach, Butler's greatest success may have been guiding the Firebirds to a coveted at-large bid to the NCAA Division II tournament, the first in team history. They were among 42 teams nationwide who received at-large bids to the "big dance." The University of the District of Columbia Women's Basketball team concluded their winning season with a 24-5 record, after a loss to California University of Pennsylvania in the NCAA Division II tournament.
"It is a real honor to be named National Coach of the Year for Division II (women)," Coach Lester Butler says. "But this award really honors the unforgettable season these young ladies have had. Their success on and off the court is what coaches dream of. He continues, I'm proud to coach the Lady Firebirds.
Coach Butler was named the head coach of the University of the District of Columbia Women's Basketball team in 2003. Prior to becoming head coach for the Firebirds, he served as the assistant coach. He began his coaching career at Virginia Union University, his alma mater, as a volunteer assistant. He was also a star basketball player at Virginia Union, where he guided his team to three CIAA championships and the NCAA Division II Final Four. He was team captain from 1994 to 1996.