Butler football team adjusting to new coach
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Butler's football team has struggled over the past two decades.
The Golden Tornado's last winning season was in 1997. The squad is 10-54 overall since 2007 and 4-39 in conference play during that span.
Rob Densmore hopes to reverse Butler's course. He was named the team's head coach in February, which made him the program's fourth head coach in the past eight years.
It's the first head coaching job for Densmore, who spent more than a decade coaching at Pine-Richland. He was assistant head coach and defensive coordinator at Freedom last season.
“I was at Pine-Richland for 15 years and was the defensive coordinator there,” he said. “It's fun being a head coach. I get to do a lot of the things I have been doing for years, plus other things like dealing more with boosters. It's all going really well right now.”
Turnout for the program's offseason workouts was high. Participation should go up now that summer break is here.
“We're pretty much in the 60s, in terms of players coming to workouts,” he said. “Now that spring sports are over, we should have that regularly.”
Butler wrapped up its first four-day minicamp under Densmore last week.
“It's noncontact. We run it like a practice with individual areas and team sessions and mixed fields,” he said. “We utilized the sleds. I just bought a tackling sled. Our tackling needs some work, and they will work on that all summer long.
“Overall, I think it's going pretty good. They are adjusting to the way I run practice. I thought it went well. The kids are excited.”
A 1993 Seneca Valley graduate, Densmore is familiar with the Golden Tornado's program and its recent struggles, despite having one of the WPIAL's top enrollments.
“I think all of us in the past have wondered that — why aren't they doing better? They are not as big as they used to be,” he said. “People think they're graduating 1,300 kids each year, but they're graduating 640 now. It's still a large school. We have been trying to get the kids out who haven't been who we think should be playing football.
“With the way we're running things, it's exciting. We are getting some more kids out. I think that'll help us in the long run,” he continued. “The staff I hired is very good. A lot of them are in the district at Butler. Some I played against in high school.
“They are good coaches, and they put the kids first. They know Xs and Os, but they are about the kids first, and that's very important to me.”
Butler's summer workouts begin Monday. According to Densmore, the Golden Tornado will participate in 7-on-7 passing scrimmages against Knoch and Kiski and head to a team camp at Edinboro University in the middle of July.
“I don't put a huge emphasis on 7-on-7s in terms of winning and losing. It's more about teaching fundamentals. Plus, everything starts and finishes up front,” Densmore said. “I am just excited. We have really, really hardworking kids, and they are committed to what we're doing. They want success. They are very coachable kids.
“They wanted someone to lead them, and I think we're heading in that direction now.”
Joe Sager is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- South Fayette football team distributes Steelers tickets to Carlynton, Wilkinsburg
- 2014 Valley News Dispatch football all-stars
- High school notebook: WPIAL adjusts to accommodate Armstrong merger