Not even a year after being named the SEC Player of the Year, Kristen Butler switches roles to begin her coaching career as a student assistant for the Gators in 2007.
Butler capped her four-year career at Florida by being named the 2006 SEC Player of the Year. In her final season she led the Gators in home runs, RBI, slugging percentage and on base percentage. She set the school record for single season home runs with 17 and became only the second player in school history to record more than 50 RBI in a season with 52.
In her time on the field for the Gators, Butler made a name for herself as a strong-armed catcher with a powerful bat. She finished her career holding the school records for runners caught stealing, pickoffs and lowest stolen bases against percentage by a catcher. In her freshman season, she was named to the SEC All-Tournament team for her play behind the plate. Butler ended her career ranked in the top 10 of nearly every career batting category.
Immediately following the end of her senior season at Florida, Butler signed to play professionally for the Akron Racers of the National Professional Fastpitch League. Butler played with some of the most recognized names in softball, including US National Team members Crystl Bustos, Jenny Topping and Jaime Southern. She started at catcher for the Racers for most of the summer and helped lead the team to an appearance in the league playoffs. She hit five home runs over the summer, the fifth-most in the league.
Butler will graduate with her bachelor's degree in sport management in May of 2007. She is also taking graduate level classes in sport management with the goal of earning her master's degree in May of 2008.