Badgers hockey assistant leaves team

Nickalas Tabbert

The Wisconsin Badgers men's hockey team lost one of its assistant coaches Wednesday.

Bill Butters, a former University of Minnesota player and assistant coach, was in his third season with Wisconsin's men's program when he decided to leave, head coach Mike Eaves announced in a news release.

"I can't thank Bill enough for the time he spent with our program," Eaves said. "He has decided that it is in his best interest to return home to Minnesota to be with his family and to pursue other passions in his life."

"It's time for me to move on from coaching," Butters said in a Star Tribune blog. "Mike and I believe it will be in the best interests of both myself and the program if I take this step and return to my family and continue to develop the other pursuits on my horizon.."

Butters is a retired professional hockey player. He played for the Gophers for three years, serving as co-captain during the 1972-73 season. He went on to play in the CHL and NHL, including 72 games with the Minnesota North Stars in 1977-78.

Butters spent 10 years with the Gophers as recruiting coordinator while also handling team travel, alumni relations and team defense. He helped the Gophers reach six NCAA Frozen Fours. Minnesota finished in the top three in Western Collegiate Hockey Association play every season he was with the team.

Minnesota and Wisconsin face off Nov. 16-17 at Mariucci Arena.