THE FLATS – Georgia Tech women’s basketball head coach Nell Fortner announced coaching veteran and former WNBA player Tasha Butts joined the staff as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. A Georgia native, Butts returns to the Peach State after eight years as an assistant coach at LSU.
“I’ve known Tasha since she was a player at Tennessee and I’ve always been impressed with her communication skills,” commented Fortner. “Communication is so important in recruiting and being able to relate to parents and student-athletes. What she did as an athlete, four SEC regular season titles and three consecutive Final Four appearances, and what she continues to do to grow her own game in this profession as a coach has been impressive. She has strong Georgia roots and I’m happy to have her with me at Georgia Tech as we continue to recruit the great players that are coming out of this state.”
During her time at LSU, Butts was part of four 20-win seasons and six NCAA Tournament appearances highlighted by back-to-back Sweet 16 runs in 2012 and 2013. She helped ink the three top-20 recruiting classes (2011, 2017, 2019), while signing seven top-100 prospects, including a McDonald’s All-American in 2017. In eight seasons at LSU, Butts coached and mentored six all-SEC academic honor roll recipients and developed seven all-SEC selections.
Butts helped return LSU to national prominence in 2018 when the program cracked the AP Top 25 poll for the first time in four years. The Tigers finished the season ranked No. 24. Butts worked closely with LSU’s backcourt, helping the Tigers top the SEC in scoring defense in 2019 (20th nationally) and rank third in the nation in steals in 2017.
Prior to her stint at LSU, Butts recorded three successful seasons (2008-11) as an assistant coach at UCLA. At UCLA, Butts worked mainly with perimeter players and assisted with all other facets of the program. The Bruins reached the NCAA Tournament twice, compiling a 72-26 overall mark and second-place finishes in the Pac-10 Conference in both 2010 and 2011. The 2010-11 season was one for the record books as the Bruins set records for regular-season victories (26), Pac-10 win (16) and scoring defense (55.3 points per game), while earning a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
At UCLA, Butts mentored eight all-Pac-10 academic players, three all-Pac-10 honorees and two all-Pac-10 freshman team selections. In 2011, the program rose to a No. 7 national ranking, reached the Pac-10 Tournament Championship game and advanced to the NCAA Tournament second round, finishing the season with a 29-5 overall record. The 2011 recruiting class, which Butts helped sign, was ranked No. 4 by AP/ESPN and USA Today.
During the 2007-08 season, Butts served as an assistant coach at Duquense University where her responsibilities included recruiting, opponent scouting, academics, equipment liaison, scheduling and development of perimeter players.
A four-year letterwinner at Tennessee, Butts helped the Lady Vols to a 124-17 record from 2000-04. Tennessee made a run to the Sweet 16 her freshman campaign and advanced to the 2002 Final Four in her sophomore season. She then helped the Lady Vols to back-to-back National Championship games her junior and senior seasons (2003, 2004). As a senior, Butts earned second-team All-Southeastern Conference honors after averaging 10.4 points per game and ranking second in the league in three-point field goal percentage (43.0).
Additionally, Butts was part of four SEC regular-season championship teams, as Tennessee compiled a 55-1 SEC record in her four years. She left UT ranked fourth all-time in games played (141) and tied for seventh in three-point shots made (103). Butt’s career-high 37 points against Vanderbilt on Feb. 16, 2004, tied for 11th on the Lady Vols’ single-game scoring list.
“I am honored and thrilled to have the opportunity to work for such a prestigious academic institution,” said Butts. “I appreciate Coach Fortner for giving me the opportunity to come back home to Georgia, the state that raised me. Georgia Tech is a special place and I absolutely can’t wait to hit the ground running and show the state of Georgia, along with the rest of the country, how special it is. I’m beyond excited to be a part of Nell’s next chapter!”
Butts graduated from Tennessee with a bachelor of science in sports management and minor in business administration in 2004. She was chosen by the Minnesota Lynx with the 20th selection in the 2004 WNBA Draft and saw action in all 30 games as a rookie, helping the club equal a franchise record with 18 wins and earn a spot in the playoffs.