Joe Butler’s sterling decades-long career as an educator, coach and administrator in New Mexico allowed him to bask in one of the great moments of his life.
Butler was announced at the Pit last week during the state tournament as the sole member of the New Mexico Activities Association’s 2023 Hall of Fame class.
“It’s a humbling experience, but also a happy day,” Butler, 71, said at the McDavid Lounge.
He will be formally inducted on July 22. He is the 115th inductee into the NMAA Hall of Fame.
Butler was surrounded by family and friends as he graciously accepted this honor. His career included stops at St. Michael’s, Santa Fe and Moriarty.
As an athlete, he was part of multiple state championship basketball teams for the Horsemen, and he also played baseball and tennis.
Butler later attended Notre Dame, which “was my goal all the way through (high) school.” He played baseball in South Bend.
He was both a coach and athletic director at St. Michael’s from 1986-98. He was the Horsemen’s head tennis coach.
He later became the AD at Santa Fe High School, and following his time with the Demons he held the same position at Moriarty. He logged nearly 30 years in one capacity or another as a professional in New Mexico schools.
Butler joined the NMAA staff in 2012, and retired in 2018 — although he continues to help out during the state tennis tournament.
“I’ll never forget this,” Butler said Thursday.
SHOWING LOVE: Gatorade has chosen Albuquerque High senior forward Leilani Love as its New Mexico Player of the Year for the 2022-23 season.
The 6-foot-1 Love averaged 19.3 points and 9.2 rebounds for the Bulldogs during this just-completed season, and helped AHS to a 25-3 record. She went over 1,000 career points during the season.
Love has signed to play at Colorado State University-Pueblo.
MORE CORLEYS: Ready for more Corley dominance on the tennis courts? Because it may already have arrived.
At the recent APS Singles tournament, two Corleys — twin sisters who are sophomores — won the top two singles brackets. Vianca Corley won at No. 1 singles, taking out the two-time defending Class 5A state champion, Cameron King of La Cueva, 6-4, 6-3.
At No. 2 singles, Vivica Corley beat La Cueva’s Stephanie Romero, also 6-4, 6-3.
They are the younger sisters of Ivana and Carmen Corley, who are currently one of the nation’s top doubles teams at the University of Oklahoma.
Philip Bosin of Eldorado, last year’s 5A state champ, was the No. 1 boys singles champ for the APS tournament, defeating Albuquerque High’s Leo Rocca, 6-2, 6-0,
THIS AND THAT: Hope Christian’s Rendon Kuykendall established what is believed to be a New Mexico record in the 2-mile at the New Balance Indoor Nationals in Boston. Kuykendall, who has signed with Duke, finished 16th overall, in a time of 9 minutes, 6.13 seconds. … AHS volleyball player Sophia Houlihan has signed to play at the next level for Western Colorado in Gunnison. … Los Lunas girls basketball player Tayden Hanks has signed with Pima Community College in Tucson. … The Sandia High baseball program last week won its 1,000th game.