The University of Florida women’s basketball team held its heads high as they returned home to Gainesville after losing in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Florida finished its season 20-13 and the team has appeared in the postseason in each of coach Amanda Butler’s seven years on the job.
Coach Butler discusses the identity of the team.
“Our identity I think, was that we had a group, although it was a small group in number and also in stature, they really cared about each other. I really trusted the process. They really did a great job of having a collective conscious in trying to make each moment the best that they could,” she said.
Florida will lose two seniors from this team in guard Jaterra Bonds and forward Lily Svete; the two competed in 137 games as Gators, the most in UF history.
Coach Butler explains how the women joining the team next year will have some shoes to fill.
“They are going to have so much Gator pride when they put those uniforms on. They are going to understand the responsibility that they have to the people that have come before them, and at the same time be fueled by the opportunities that lie ahead of them, and I’m really excited to coach them.”
The Gators have overcame many challenges this season, and they’re already hungry for more. The team is looking forward to next season and all that is has to offer. Coach Butler, a former Florida basketball player herself, says there is a long list of reasons as to why she coaches this team, and why she has no intention of ever coaching anywhere else.
“You know that’s a long, long list. I think that I can speak personally for me, I’m a Gator. You know I’m a Gator, there’s not anywhere else in the country that I could work that it would feel the same way that it feels here.”
For audio on this story, click below.