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John Butler

John Butler is in his fourth season as secondary coach with the Houston Texans.

John Butler is in his fourth season as secondary coach with the Houston Texans.

During his first three years in Houston (2014-16), Butler helped the Texans rank third in net passing yards allowed per game (218.4), third in net yards allowed per game (319.9), fourth in opponent completion percentage (59.5) and sixth in points allowed per game (19.8). Houston also ranked first in the league in third-down defense with a 33.6 opponent conversion percentage during that span.

The Texans are coming off back-to-back AFC South division championships and have put together three straight winning seasons for the first time in franchise history. Houston’s 7-1 record at home and 5-1 record in the division in 2016 both tied franchise records. The team also advanced to the AFC Divisional Round for the first time since 2012.

The Texans finished the 2016 season with the NFL’s top-ranked defense for the first time in franchise history, surrendering an average of only 301.3 total net yards per game. They also gave up the fewest first downs (17.0) and second-fewest net passing yards (201.6) per game. Houston was the only team in the NFL to not allow a 300-yard passer in 2016 and has given up just one 300-yard passer in the last 32 regular season games.

S Quintin Demps led all NFL safeties in 2016 with a career-high six interceptions, which also tied for the second-most in a single season in Texans history. CB A.J. Bouye set single-season career highs with 62 total tackles and 16 passes defensed while starting 11 games. Bouye also notched two interceptions in the playoffs and became the first player in team history with a pick in back-to-back postseason games.

In 2015, the Texans defense finished third in the NFL in net yards allowed per game (310.2), third in net passing yards allowed per game (210.4) and tied for seventh in points allowed per game (19.6). The Texans also allowed the fifth-lowest opponent completion percentage (59.0) in the league.

Butler’s unit helped the Texans finish tied for third in passes defensed with 90 in 2015 and surrendered just 6.09 net passing yards per attempt, tied for third-best in the NFL. The Texans led the NFL in third-down defense, as opponents converted only 28.5 percent (61-of-214) of their opportunities. That percentage is the lowest single-season mark in franchise history by 4.5 percent and the lowest opponent third-down percentage by any NFL team since the 2003 Tennessee Titans (27.7).

Houston won its first AFC South division championship since 2012 and only allowed six points or less five times in 2015, which led the NFL and is tied for the most such games in a season since the 1991 New Orleans Saints (six times).

CB Johnathan Joseph set a single-season career-high with 22 passes defensed, while starting all 16 games for the second straight year. CB Kevin Johnson ranked third on the team and fourth among NFL rookies with nine passes defensed.

In 2014, Butler’s first year, Houston led the NFL in takeaways with a franchise-record 34 and became just the third team in the last 20 years to lead the league in takeaways after finishing last the year before. The Texans also set a franchise record for points off turnovers and had 11 players record interceptions in 2014.

Houston’s secondary was involved in 22 of the team’s 34 takeaways in 2014 and had seven players with either a forced fumble, fumble recovery or interception. The group accounted for nine forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries, 16 interceptions and three interceptions returned for touchdowns. 

Prior to the Texans, Butler spent two seasons at Penn State with Head Coach Bill O’Brien, where he held the role of secondary coach in 2012 and defensive coordinator in 2013. In his first season working with the secondary, Butler helped Penn State rank second in the Big Ten and 16th nationally in scoring defense. Four defensive players at Penn State went on to be drafted in the NFL in 2013 and 2014.

Butler served as the special teams coordinator and outside linebackers coach at South Carolina in 2011, helping the Gamecocks win a school-record 11 games in 2011 and earn their first top-10 finish.

Prior to South Carolina, Butler spent four seasons (2007-10) as the linebackers coach and special teams coordinator at the University of Minnesota. From 2003-06, Butler served as the linebackers coach and special teams coordinator at Harvard. In 2004, Harvard won the Ivy League title with a 10-0 record and ranked 12th in the nation.

Butler was safeties coach and special teams coordinator at Southwest Texas State from 2001-02. He also spent two seasons (1999-2000) at Midwestern State, where he served as the team’s defensive coordinator while mentoring the linebackers and safeties.

In 1997 and 1998, he served as a graduate assistant at the University of Texas under John Mackovic and Mack Brown.

Born in Philadelphia, the 1995 graduate of The Catholic University of America broke into the coaching ranks as the secondary coach after his senior year of playing. Butler took over as the defensive coordinator in 1996 and the team finished in the top 25 in Division III in total defense that season.

As an undergrad, Butler was a four-year letterman and three-year starter at Catholic. He was also a two-year letterwinner in basketball and part of the school’s 1992-93 NCAA Tournament team.

Butler and his wife, Carmen, have one son, Manny.

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