Bill Butler (American football)

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Bill Butler
No. 22, 20
Position: Safety
Personal information
Date of birth: (1937-07-10) July 10, 1937 (age 78)
Place of birth: Berlin, Wisconsin
Height: 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Weight: 189 lb (86 kg)
Career information
High school: Ripon (WI).
College: Chattanooga
NFL draft: 1959 / Round: 19 / Pick: 217
Career history
Career NFL statistics
Games played: 75
Interceptions: 11
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

William R. Butler (born July 10, 1937 in Berlin, Wisconsin) is a former American football safety in the National Football League for the Green Bay Packers (1959), the Dallas Cowboys (1960), the Pittsburgh Steelers (1961) and the Minnesota Vikings (1962–1964). He played college football at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Early years[edit]

Butler attended Ripon High School, before moving on to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

In 1988, he was inducted into the UTC Athletics Hall of Fame.[1]

Professional career[edit]

Green Bay packers[edit]

Butler was selected by the Green Bay Packers in the 19th round (217th overall) of the 1959 NFL Draft. Although he was initially waived in training camp, he was re-signed after the team cut fellow rookie Tim Brown.[2] He would lead the team in kickoff (21 returns - 22.5 average) and punt returns (18 returns - 9.1 average). He returned a punt for a 61-yard touchdown in a 28-17 loss against the Chicago Bears.

Dallas Cowboys[edit]

He was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the 1960 NFL Expansion Draft and was moved to defense, becoming the first starting free safety in franchise history. He led the team in punt returns (13 returns - 10.1 average) and also had 20 kickoff returns with a 19.1 yards average. On December 22, he was traded along with offensive tackle Dick Klein to the Pittsburgh Steelers in exchange for safety Dick Moegle.[3]

Pittsburgh Steelers[edit]

In 1961, he had 3 interceptions, while playing 10 games as a backup safety. On April 7, 1962, he was traded to the Minnesota Vikings in exchange for a sixth round draft selection, completing a previous transaction.[4]

Minnesota Vikings[edit]

In 1962, he started 12 games at safety and posted 5 interceptions (second on the team), returning one for a touchdown. He also led the team in kickoff (26 returns - 22.6 average) and punt returns (12 returns - 14.1 average).

The next year he repeated as the team leader in kickoff (33 returns - 21.6 average) and punt returns (21 returns - 10.5 average). In 1964, for the third season in a row, he led the team in kickoff (26 returns - 23 average) and punt returns (22 returns - 7.1 average).

Personal life[edit]

Butler currently lives in Berlin Wisconsin, where he is the defensive coordinator for the Ripon High School football team as well an assistant track and field coach.[5]