Blaise Butler Leaving UVa Wrestling Program
May 5, 2015
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia wrestling head coach Steve Garland announced Tuesday that redshirt junior Blaise Butler (Belvidere, Ill.) will not return to the program next season. Butler, who will complete his undergraduate degree from Virginia this semester, has requested and received his transfer release to another institution. He plans on beginning classes in pursuit of his master’s degree while competing in his final year of eligibility.
“Blaise is a tremendous competitor who worked extremely hard here,” Garland said. “He will be dearly missed. I’m disappointed about his departure, but I love him just the same. We wish him all the best in his future plans.”
A two-time NCAA Championships qualifier, Butler was 21-6 in 2014-15 and leaves UVa with a 56-20 career record. He won the 2014 ACC Championship at 157 pounds, then moved up two weight classes to 174 this season. He was the No. 5 seed at 174 pounds at the NCAA Championships this year, reaching the round of 12 before bowing out.
“I love the University of Virginia and the UVa wrestling program and want to thank my coaches and teammates for everything they have done for me,” Butler said. “This was an extremely tough decision for me and was strictly a move based on my future career outside of wrestling. Toward the beginning of the year, I made the decision that I wanted to pursue a career in business. I knew that there was a chance I would not get into a business master’s program at UVa, so I began to explore my options at other universities. I’m excited to work toward my MBA next year and make one more run at a national championship, but it is hard to leave the guys that I have had so many great memories with.”