Kyle Butler was already familiar with Jasper High School football — that’s why the decision to return was an easy one.
Butler, who served as an assistant coach for the Vikings in 2014 and 2015, is the new defensive coordinator on head coach Bryan Moore’s staff. Butler was hired in April, just in time for spring practice.
“I’m really excited,” Butler, 29 said. “This is a really good community that supports the school, the program and the coaches. Coach Moore cares about the kids, about the coaches, and their families. He’s a great football coach. I’m excited about what we can do together.”
Butler stood out to Moore during the selection process.
“You could tell he’s highly intelligent. He came across as very organized,” Moore said. “The interview went really good. I was blown away. I offered him the next day. You could just tell. His philosophy is very similar to us. Basically, I will set the parameters and he will work within that. He will have his own tweaks.”
Butler spent the last three years as the secondary coach at Hueytown High School. He jumped at the chance to return to Jasper in a new role.
“Obviously, I have career goals and want to move up. This was an opportunity to do that,” said Butler, who served as the linebackers coach under head coach Heath Brunner in his previous stint with the Vikings. “This is an awesome place to be. The school is great. I know the football program, too. There is a lot of history and a lot of success here — that’s extremely appealing. I know Coach Moore has got this going the right way. It’s absolutely something I want to be a part of.”
Jasper excelled under Moore in 2018, winning a region championship and advancing to the third round of the Class 5A playoffs.
Despite a tough schedule — Jasper defeated two teams that played for state championships, including 5A state champion Central Clay — the Jasper defense allowed just 18.7 points per game.
Mortimer Jordan, which defeated Jasper 41-21 in the playoffs, was the only team to score more than 28 points against the Vikings last season.
Butler has liked what he’s seen from his defensive group thus far.
“There are a lot of key contributors coming back on defense — 11 or 12 that really contributed and potentially nine starters from a defense that was pretty good last year. We are looking to build off that success. The kids work extremely hard, that’s one thing I remember from being here before. In general, I’m really excited with the progress we made in the spring.”
Aside from the addition of Butler, Jasper will return its staff from last season.
“We’ve been able to keep the staff intact. I’m one of the old guys. We’ve got a lot of 20-somethings. It’s really neat in spring No. 2 to have some carryover. We didn’t change a lot. Things are more comfortable,” Moore said.