Updated on Thursday at 4:45 p.m.
Florida Gators athletic director Jeremy Foley on Wednesday announced a two-year contract extension for women’s basketball coach Amanda Butler, keeping her with the program through the 2018-19 season.
Butler, who behind Carol Ross (1990-02) is the second-winningest and second-longest-tenured coach in program history, is just 153-112 (.577) at Florida, 56-68 (.447) in Southeastern Conference play over eight seasons. The Gators have never advanced past the second round of the NCAA Tournament under Butler.
“Clearly, the results of last season were not what anyone, including Coach Butler, had hoped. That said, I continue to strongly feel that Amanda is the right person to get Florida women’s basketball to be a contender in this league and nationally. She’s a Gator and will keep working tirelessly to elevate this program,” said Foley in a release.
Butler, a former Florida guard (1990-94) who took over for Carolyn Peck in 2007-08, said she is “appreciative” of both Foley executive associate athletics director Lynda Tealer for maintaining a belief in her leading the program.
“Great accomplishments are always preceded by a shared vision. Our vision is one of always developing our student athletes in all areas of their lives and always competing for championships,” she began.
“Last season was disappointing for me and Gator Nation. Gator Nation deserves excellence – the very best coaching, student-athletes and results. We will do whatever is necessary to make Florida women’s basketball a cornerstone of pride for our University of Florida. I am very excited about what the future holds for our program.”
The Gators have long been hoping for a perennially-competitive women’s basketball team with administrators and fans rightfully seeing it as the lone Florida program never to have any substantial success. UF has not advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament since 1997 nor made it to even the Sweet 16 since 1998, appearing in the NCAA Tournament just seven times in the last 16 seasons and only advancing to the second round four times (2001, 2004, 2009, 2012). The Gators have also never won an SEC title, regular-season or tournament.
Florida has dealt with a rash of transfers and seen players forced off the program for behavioral issues in recent years, causing the roster to be depleted despite Butler impressively hauling in some top-tier recruits while leading a team without a history of national success.
Update: According to Swish Appeal, which is citing “multiple sources,” Gators assistant coaches David Lowery (eighth season) and Angela Crosby (third season) will not be retained by Butler, leaving Murriel Page (fifth season) as the lone assistant on staff.