Keene State College is renaming its soccer field to Ron Butcher Field in honor of longtime men’s coach Dr. Ron Butcher following Saturday’s 3 p.m. game against Rhode Island College.
Butcher, who spent 43 years (1970-2013) as the Owls’ head coach, compiled a 596-263-72 (.679) record during his four-plus decades at Keene State, leading the program to 31 postseason tournament appearances between three divisions.
He began his coaching career at Pittsfield High School before moving on to Wisconsin-Platteville, where he was eventually made aware of the Keene State job by then-director of athletics Ted Kehr and basketball coach Glenn Theulen.
The Owls became a household name in the NAIA during the ’70s and early ’80s and also had success in the Division II New England Collegiate Conference before moving to Division III in the fall of 1997.
Keene State qualified for the NCAA tournament in eight of its first 10 seasons in the Little East Conference and twice more over the final seven years of Butcher’s career.
Butcher has been named to four Hall of Fames for his coaching excellence: the New Hampshire Soccer Coaches Hall of Fame (1998), the Plymouth State Hall of Fame (2001), the Keene State Hall of Fame (2005) and the Little East Conference Hall of Fame (2014).