South Pointe High School strengthened its coaching ranks two weeks ago with the hiring of Stephanie Butler as girls’ basketball coach, and the promotion of Joel Taylor to head varsity baseball coach.
“Coach Butler and coach Taylor bring exceptional leadership skills and high expectations in developing our student-athletes,” South Pointe athletics director Mike Drummond said in a statement. “We believe they will make a strong contribution to South Pointe and the Rock Hill community.”
Butler takes over for Brett Childers, who took the head girls’ gig at Fort Mill High School. She comes to South Pointe with 17 years of experience coaching at the high school, college and AAU level.
Most recently, Butler was the assistant women’s basketball coach at Southern Illinois University. Prior to her time there, she served as the head girls’ basketball coach at Butler High School in Matthews, N.C., where she led the Bulldogs to a combined 121-26 record from 2006-10, including a 2010 North Carolina Class 4A state championship.
At Butler High School, Butler was named Southwestern 4A Conference coach of the year three times (2006, ’08, ’09), as the Bulldogs won the regular season conference title in 2008 and 2009 and took the conference tournament title all five years during her tenure. She was named The Charlotte Weekly Coach of the Year in 2009 and 2010. Butler won the same honor in 2010 from The Charlotte Observer. She coached three McDonald’s All-America nominees at Butler, including McDonald’s All-American and 2011 Tennessee signee Cierra Burdick.
Prior to her tenure there, Butler served as the recruiting coordinator and assistant camp director at Division II Lander University for one season after two seasons as the assistant women’s basketball coach and camp director at Division I Presbyterian College.
Butler had previous high school coaching stints at Gaffney High School in Gaffney (2001-02), Byrnes High School in Duncan (1999-2001), and Westside High School in Anderson (1998-99). She has also spent 12 years as a physical education teacher.
A native of Seneca, Butler was a four-year starting point guard and two-year captain at Southern Wesleyan University from 1994-98. She earned her bachelor’s in physical education from SWU in 1998 and this fall she will be pursuing a master’s degree in Human Resources Development from Clemson University.
Joel Taylor, the junior varsity head baseball coach and varsity assistant for the past three seasons, will assume the head varsity position next season. Taylor was a two-year standout on the diamond at Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, N.C., graduating in 1987. Prior to his time at Gardner-Webb, he attended Chowan Junior College and played baseball on scholarship for the Hawks.
Taylor grew up in Greenville and attended Wade Hampton High School. He is coaching with the Rock Hill American Legion and assists with the Showcase Baseball Academy in Rock Hill. Taylor and his wife Tracey have two children, Graceyn and Bowman. He is employed at U.S. Foods in Fort Mill.