Jim Butler begins his 29th season as the head coach of the Connecticut College men's Cross Country team. During that time, he has built the Camels into one of the top Division III programs in New England, while overseeing the development of National Champions, All-Americans, and New England Champions. In 2013, he coached Mike LeDuc to individual Cross Country titles at the NESCAC Championship, the New England Division III Championship, and the NCAA Division III National Championship. In 2012, LeDuc placed 13th at Nationals to earn All-American honors. In 2002, Connecticut College finished fourth at the New England Division III Championships, qualifying as a team for the NCAA Division III National Championships. The Camels placed 20th at the National Championships held in Northfield, Minnesota, where Butler was named the USTFCCCA Division III New England Region Coach of the Year.
In 2003, he coached Adam Fitzgerald to a 23rd place finish at Nationals, earning Fitzgerald All-American honors. In 2004, after leading a young Camel team to a fourth place finish at the NESCAC Championship, he was voted NESCAC Coach of the Year.
Butler also serves as the Associate Head Coach for the men's and women's Track & Field team at the College, coaching the men's distance and mid-distance runners in the winter and spring seasons. In 2014, he was named USTFCCCA Division III New England Region Assistant Outdoor Track & Field Coach of the Year.
Under Butler's tutelage Adam Fitzgerald (10,000), Keith Drake (mile), Brian Murtagh (steeplechase and 3,000), Shawn Mulcahy (10,000), and Mike LeDuc (3,000 in 2011 and 2012, 5,000 in 2012 and 2013, and 1500 in 2014), have all won recent New England Division III track titles. In 2007, Drake qualified for the NCAA's in the mile (Indoors) and the 1500 meters (Outdoors), and in 2008 Murtagh earned All-American honors in the steeplechase with an eighth place finish at the National Championships. In 2011, then freshman Mike LeDuc won the ECAC Championship in the steeplechase and earned All-American honors in that event with a sixth place finish at the NCAA Championship. In 2012, LeDuc placed 9th at the NCAA Indoor Championship in the 5,000, and in Outdoors again won the ECAC Championship in the steeplechase and earned All-American honors with a fourth place finish at the National Championship. In 2012-2013, LeDuc earned three All-American awards with his finishes at the NCAA National Championships including Cross Country where he placed 13th; Indoor Track where he placed 3rd in the 5,000; and Outdoor Track where he was the National Champion in the 3,000 meter steeplechase in 8:50.58. In 2013-14, LeDuc was a four-time All-American in Cross Country (National Champion), Indoor Track (4th in the 3,000, 7th in the 5,000), and Outdoor Track (National Champion in steeplechase in 8:45.77), along with running a 4:05 mile Indoors and winning the Penn Relays steeplechase during the Outdoor season.
During his racing career, Butler was among the top runners in southeastern Connecticut. He has run more than 50 marathons, qualified for the Boston Marathon twenty times, and won the 1983 southeastern Connecticut 24-hour race. In 2010, Butler was inducted into the New London Athletic Hall of Fame.
A four-year member of the Cross Country and Track & Field teams at Rutgers University, Butler graduated in 1975 with a bachelor's degree in Political Science/Urban Planning. He earned his master's degree in Public Administration from the University of New Haven in 1982. Butler resides in New London with his wife Debra and they have two children, Brendan and Devon, a 2010 graduate of Connecticut College.