Clay's Terrance Butler Making a Difference at University of Arkansas

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Byline: Brent Beaird

A Clay High School graduate is helping to make the University of Arkansas football team into one of the strongest teams in the Southeastern Conference. Terrance Butler is an assistant strength and conditioning coach at Arkansas.

"We just get the guys ready for practice and games," Butler said. "We want them as strong and fast as possible. We make sure the guys are ready to get out there. Everything we do is to get them on the field."

The Hogs come into this season with high expectations. Many pundits have predicted they will be one of the teams to challenge defending national champion Alabama in the SEC western division.

The road to Fayetteville, Ark., included many stops for Butler, who started his Arkansas job in January. Butler played at and graduated from the University of Louisville. He also worked as a commodities trader for Genscape Inc. before joining the Arkansas staff. His main link to the university was Arkansas coach Bob Petrino, who coached him at Louisville.

"I traveled through Arkansas so many times with Genscape," Butler said. "Last summer was the first time I expressed an interest in working with strength and conditioning. In January, I joined the staff."

Clay High is still a favorite place for Butler to visit when he returns home.

"Whenever I go back, I visit with coaches," Butler said. "I keep in touch with Coach [James] Reape."

Among the former Clay players he also keeps in contact with are Cliff Avril, who plays for the Detroit Lions; Nolan Carroll, who plays for the Miami Dolphins; Curtis Francis, who is a graduate assistant at Central Florida; and Charles Clark, who is an assistant coach at San Jose State.

He also has close relationships with Middleburg graduates Gary Barnidge of the Carolina Panthers and Richard Owens, also a Louisville graduate and currently an Arkansas graduate assistant. …