By Tyler Hays - Staff Writer
When former Rose State Baseball Head Coach Coty Cooper took the job of executive athletic director, it left the baseball team without a coach.
The man that was picked to fill his spot was the assistant coach at the time, Ryon Butts.
Butts is a native Oklahoman, attended Edmond North High School and played baseball for the Huskies. He graduated in 2007 and started coaching in 2008.
Butts got into baseball at age 2 when he received his first ball and glove. He started playing when he was 4.
He played his first two years of college at Rose State before transferring to Southern Nazarene University. He primarily played catcher throughout his career.
He described himself as a hard-nosed player and coach.
“Just play the game the right way,” Butts said. “Play hard. If you hit a single, it’s a double until they stop you.”
He began coaching at Rose State in fall 2013. He would be the assistant coach for six years.
In the fall of 2019, he was appointed head coach. He became the youngest baseball head coach in Rose State history.
Butts is married to Taylor Butts and they have a 2-year-old daughter named Bailey.
As such a young coach, Butts is still trying to develop his coaching style and how he wants to do things.
He said his daughter has changed his style a lot, mostly in helping him with his patience.
Brandon Fairbanks is the assistant baseball coach and pitching coach. This is his first year at Rose State College.
“[Coach Butts’] patience has been night and day since I’ve been here,” Fairbanks said.
“His progressions in practice and his progressions with players have come around quite a bit.”
The biggest change for Butts in transitioning from an assistant coach to head coach is everything.
He said he cannot be as nice anymore and he hates doing the office work.
His first season as head coach has not gone exactly the way he wanted.
The Rose State Raiders started this season at 2-10.
The roster for this year is young. Out of the 27 players on the roster, 20 of them are freshmen. That only leaves
This season was expected to come with growing pains, but Butts is encouraged with where the team is now.
They worked hard, and the team has shown improvement down the stretch. He is confident they are much better
than their record would indicate.
It is all part of the learning process for the players and coaches. The goal now is to just try to learn and improve
any chance they get.
The most rewarding part for Butts is the players. He said he has helped the players to become young men and to be proud of their team and their program.
Fairbanks said he is proud of the team’s ability to handle adversity.
Butts and Fairbanks said they are excited about this team and where they can go.
Students, faculty and staff with valid ID receive free admission for home games.