In a storied program that has seen 22 conference championships with 25 bowl appearances including 6 national championships and has ushered through 108 All-Americans, Grizzly football does not have the luxury of sneaking up on its opponents.
This season was no different for the Grizzlies, who are riding a 22-game winning streak dating back to 2011.
The Grizzlies have knocked off all opponents ranked or not, garnering a #2 national ranking and earning the right to play in the national championship game for the second time in three seasons.
This season saw the third consecutive Jayhawk Conference title and third consecutive Region VI championship propelling the Grizzlies into the Graphic Edge Bowl in Cedar Falls, Iowa, where Butler come in as the underdog with the #2 ranking.
There are not enough superlatives to describe the sucess the Grizzlies have seen under the leadership of head coach Troy Morrell. In his 13th season as head coach, he has guided the Grizzlies to 137-16 overall record as well as an astonishing 28-3 mark in the Region VI playoffs.
In Morrell’s tenure as head coach, Butler has won at least 10 games 11 times and have played in a bowl every season but one. Enough praise cannot be given, nor is it often given to the veteran all-star coaching staff that Morrell has in assistant head coach Steve Braet, defensive coordinator Tim Schaffner and offensive coordinator Tony Haynes who have helped build and manage the team with astounding results.
With the success that has been viewed in Butler County, opponents prepare and want nothing more than to knock the Grizzlies out of top spot. They continue to prepare and Butler continues to win, not boasting, just truth.
How can a program that has players in their system for a maximum of two years, season in and season out, contend for the national title? Fantastic recruiting and players understand what they are getting into when they join the Grizzly ranks. Under Morrell, the Grizzlies have had 67 athletes earn All-American honors.
Even more impressive is the 127 student athletes who sign division 1-A/1-AA scholarships and the countless others who have gone on to four-year institutions. Two prime examples in the limelight of division one college football are former Butler standouts Zach Mettenberger and Chandler Whitmer. Both starting quarterbacks at Louisanna State University and University of Connecticutt.
On Dec. 2 in Cedar Falls, the #1 program in the NJCAA since 2000 based upon the final polls will continue to progress toward the ultimate goal this season, another Butler Grizzlies championship.