Beth Couture – Head Coach

Beth Couture – Head Coach

* 419-261 as a college head coach
* 161-144 at Butler
* Three WNIT appearances and four straight 20-win seasons (2008-11)
* Six winning seasons in last seven seasons

Under Beth Couture’s leadership, Butler has become a premier basketball program in the Midwest. Before 2012, Couture had led Butler to four consecutive 20-win seasons and three straight WNIT appearances. But with all of the team’s accomplishments in recent years, there is still more work to do. Butler and head coach Beth Couture are aiming for new territory: a league championship and a trip to the NCAA Tournament.

In her 10 seasons at Butler, Couture has continued to lead the Bulldogs to new heights with each successive season at the helm. In 2010-11, the Bulldogs placed second in both the Horizon League regular season and league tournament en route to a 20-14 record. The team captured the Horizon League’s automatic bid into the WNIT, where the Bulldogs played at the University of Wisconsin.

In April 2011, Couture was honored at the NCAA Women’s Final Four for winning her 400th career game as a college head coach.

She mentored the Bulldogs to a 23-10 record (14-4 Horizon League) in 2009-10, the team’s most wins in 12 years. Butler’s second straight WNIT appearance also marked the first time the program has had consecutive postseason berths since becoming a Division I team.

In the spring of 2009, Couture took on perhaps her greatest opponent. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in April 2009, but battled as only the veteran basketball coach could. She rushed through chemotherapy treatments and radiation in time to be on the sidelines for the team’s exhibition in November 2009.

Couture has been cancer-free since 2010 and has now become one of the Indianapolis community’s leaders in the fight against the disease, participating in several breast cancer awareness events. She walked 38 miles over a two-day span for St. Vincent’s Weekend to End Breast Cancer and was the 2011 honorary chairwoman for the St. Vincent Woman of Hope group. Each Woman of Hope pledges to raise or donate $1,000 annually for the cancer cause of her choice.

For her courage, Butler University honored her as 2010 Woman of Distinction, an annual award given about by Butler.

The 2008-09 season was a historic one for Couture and the Bulldogs, as the team finished 20-12 (14-4 Horizon League) and advanced to the second round of the WNIT. It was the team’s first postseason appearance since 1998.

In 2007-08, Couture led the Dawgs to a major breakthrough as the team finished with 20 wins. Butler went 10-1 in non-league play that year, the best mark since Couture has been at Butler. The successful season marked the first time since 1996 the program has posted back-to-back 20-win seasons.

When Couture first stepped onto the Butler campus, she knew she faced one of the toughest challenges of her coaching career. The Bulldog team that went 3-26 the season before she took the reins hardly resembled her squads at Presbyterian College, where she won nearly 70 percent of her games over the course of 13 seasons.

But after developing the roster she inherited and infusing it with several talented recruiting classes, Couture has the Bulldogs consistently ranked among the Horizon League’s best. After doubling their win total in Couture’s first year at the helm, the Bulldogs went on to either match or increase their total victories in every season until 2010.

Along the way, the program has had nine members named to All-Horizon League teams, five tabbed to the All-Newcomer Team and five mentioned on the All-Defensive squad. Additionally, six Couture recruits (Brittany Bowen, Alyssa Pittman, Susan Lester, Lade Akande, Jackie Closser and Ellen Hamilton) have gone on to score more than 1,000 points in their college careers.

Butler finished the 2003-04 campaign with a 14-15 record, including a 9-7 Horizon League mark and appearance in the semi-finals of the league tournament. The Bulldogs came together when it counted most, posting victories in nine of their final 13 games for the team’s first winning league record in five seasons.

A 14-14 overall record followed in 2004-05 before the Bulldogs improved to 15-14 in 2005-06 for the team’s first above-.500 overall mark since 1998-99.

Butler increased its win total again in 2006-07, finishing with a 16-15 overall record and 11-5 mark in league play to place in a second-place tie in the conference, the team’s best league record and highest standing in nearly 10 years. The season culminated with the Bulldogs rolling to a pair of wins in the Horizon League Tournament and making their first appearance in the championship game since 1998.

Couture began her collegiate head coaching career in 1989-90 at Presbyterian College. Thirteen successful seasons later, she had compiled an impressive 258-117 (.688) overall record, including eight 20-win seasons. In addition, she led the program to six trips to the NCAA Division II national tournament in her final nine years.

She led the team to three-straight South Atlantic Conference (SAC) regular season and SAC Tournament titles from 1998 to 2000. A four-time SAC  Coach of the Year recipient, Couture mentored 18 all-conference selections and three conference players of the year.

The 1999-2000 team went 28-2 and won the SAC regular season title with a 15-1 record. The Blue Hose also won the SAC Tournament title and hosted the NCAA Division II South Atlantic Regional Tournament. PC was ranked as high as fourth in the nation during that season.

The only coach in the conference’s history to be named conference coach of the year in two different women’s sports, Couture guided the Blue Hose volleyball team to three national tournaments, including the school’s first-ever NCAA postseason appearance in 1993. She served as the team’s head coach from 1987-93, amassing an overall record of 233-50, winning SAC Volleyball Coach of the Year awards on three occasions. Couture also served as an assistant director of athletics from 1993-2002.

Couture spent two seasons as an assistant at Presbyterian from 1987-89, arriving after three years at the helm of Dixie High School in Due West, S.C., where she posted a 49-28 record.

Couture’s commitment to academics has also been at the forefront of her career, as 25 of her student-athletes were named to the SAC Academic Honor Roll throughout her tenure at Presbyterian. The trend has continued at Butler as 11 players earned recognition on the Butler Athletic Director’s Academic Honor Roll during the Fall 2009 semester.

A native of Greenville, S.C., Couture is a 1984 graduate of Erskine College where she was a four-time MVP selection in basketball for the Flying Fleet. A Kodak All-American honoree as a senior, Couture was inducted into the Erskine College Hall of Fame in December of 1989.

She earned a bachelor’s of science degree in physical education from Erskine and went on to complete a master’s degree in the same field at Furman University in 1987.