Butler admitted into Ga. Tech Hall of Fame

Published 7:05 pm Friday, July 18, 2014

Former Bainbridge High School Bearcats first team All-Region 1AAAA safety James Butler, Jr., who went on to play for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets where he started at safety in 2003 and 2004, will be inducted into the Georgia Tech Sports Hall of Fame on Oct. 10 in Atlanta.

Butler was also an All-Atlantic Coast Conference and Academic All-Atlantic Coast Conference safety with the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in 2003 and 2004.  He was also Yellow Jackets team captain in 2004.

He said he is very humble and very honored to be selected to the Georgia Tech Sports Hall of Fame.

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“First of all, I dedicate this to my parents, who are Rev. James Butler Sr. and Nadine Butler,” he said. “Then I dedicate it to my Bainbridge High School Bearcats head coach Bob Christmas and Bearcats assistant coaches Kelvin Cochran and Felix Curry. My parents and my high school coaches have been great positive role models in my life.”

Christmas, who has had a very successful stint as head coach at North Hall High School in Gainesville, Georgia, the past 13 years, and will be returning to Jefferson Forest High School in Forest. Virginia, as head coach where he won two state championships before coming to Bainbridge in 1997, said he is very proud of Butler.

“Good things happen to good people and James is one of the best athletes and best people I have ever been around,” Christmas said. He was an outstanding athlete and is a high character young man.”

Butler was an outstanding athlete in basketball and track as well. As a senior track performer at BHS, he won the state triple jump championship.

BHS Lady Cats head basketball coach Kelvin Cochran, who coached Butler on coach Christmas’s Bearcats football staff and coach Jeff Page’s Bearcats basketball staff, said he was always willing to give back to Bainbridge High School and the youngsters of Decatur County.

James would come back home and give clinics for local youngsters,” Cochran said. “He is just an outstanding young man in every sense of the words.”

Butler was a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, which goes annually to the top defensive back in the country, in 2003 and 2004.

Butler, who earned a degree in building construction from Georgia Tech, and is wife Jasmine, who is from Philadelphia, live in Roswell where he owns a group of restaurants. They have two young sons, James Butler III and Jackson Butler.

On Feb. 2, in Glendale Arizona Butler had a game-high nine tackles in the New York Giants 17-14 Super Bowl XLII victory over the previously undefeated New England Patriots.

On May 1, 2008, the city of Climax welcomed Butler home with a special day in his honor. Highlight of the day came when Decatur County Sheriff Wiley Griffin and Climax Mayor Liz Sheddy-Phillips unveiled two signs that were placed at the city’s two city limits that read Home of James O. Butler, Jr., New York Giants Football 2008 Super Bowl Champions.