The Butler came to do a job, The Butler got his job done, and now “The Butler has Gone Home”:Greensboro will miss Parks and Rec vet Wayne Butler

The Butler came to do a job, The Butler got his job done, and now, “The Butler has gone home”….

Talked with Ben L. Smith High School graduate Don Tilley today, and he gave us the news that former Smith Golden Eagle football player, Big Wayne Butler has passed away….
(We lost Wayne back on Sunday.)

Wayne Butler played high school football for the Ben L. Smith Golden Eagles back in the early-to-mid 60’s, and Wayne had been in failing health/very poor health, in recent weeks and he had been under constant hospice care at the Friends Home West, on West Friendly Avenue…

Another former Golden Eagle football player, Ray Linney, found Wayne in his search of the Friends Home about three weeks ago, and Wayne was at Friends Home West, in Room 35….

Guy Wayne Butler, or Big Wayne, or “The Butler”, as Wayne was known back in the days when he played football, was a BIG/strong offensive lineman for the Smith Golden Eagles and then the Fighting Christians from Elon College, but now Wayne will be laid to rest later this week, at an undisclosed location, here in Greensboro, N.C.

I got the chance to speak/talk with Wayne for about minute over the phone a few weeks back and he was real sounding weak, and now, “The Butler” is gone and we need to keep his wife Karen and Wayne Butler’s family in our prayers…

Back on Friday night they honored the first football team from Ben L. Smith High School, and Wayne Butler was part of that first-ever Smith Golden Eagles football team/unit, and Wayne was at the head of the class and he was a team leader on the offensive line….

Along with playing football at Smith and at Elon, Guy Wayne Butler was with the Greensboro Parks and Recreation Department for over 30 years, and he taught and coached girls basketball, as an assistant to Phil Weaver, at Grimsley High School….Wayne was also a baseball umpire and football referee on the high school and college levels for many seasons and he was basketball player back in his day, so Wayne Butler had all of the sports and bases covered…..
(Wayne was also the official scorer for the Greensboro Grasshoppers and he worked numerous events from the scorer’s table, at the Greensboro Coliseum for many years.)

Our thoughts and prayers are lifted up for Wayne Butler’s wife Karen, and his family in this time of loss…Wayne covered a lot of ground around Greensboro over the years, and he will be missed….

Along with running the game clocks and scoreboards at the Greensboro Coliseum, and his girl’s basketball coaching duties at Grimsley High School, Wayne had also worked as long as he could keeping the clock for football and basketball, at Page High School, where Wayne was a huge help for Rusty Lee, the former Page AD and Rusty’s staff, including Donnie Stowe…

Wayne Butler attended Elon College along with future Major League Baseball umpires Joe West and Drew Coble, and Wayne Butler advanced as far as the Major League Baseball Spring Training Camps, back in his days as a rookie umpire, coming out of Umpiring School, and out of Elon, along side of Joe West and Drew Coble…

Wayne Butler and Don Tilley were the ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” of local refereeing teams/duos back in the day….

Wayne and Don might be seen calling/reffing 8-10 youth football games on a Saturday, anywhere between Greensboro and Eden, or between Greensboro and Ramseur/Liberty and you might see their car dragging the ground, as they drove home that night after getting paid…

Wayne Butler and Don Tilley worked their tails off back in those days, and if there was a job to done on the football field, baseball field, or basketball court, “The Butler” and his sidekick Don Tilley got it done….

Many thought they were the top officiating duo in Central North Carolina back in the 80’s and the 90’s, and there was never a dispute when Wayne and Don were calling the game, they had total control, and if you didn’t like it, you could just roll, on out the door and head to another town/region…

At one time Wayne Butler was the head chief of the Greensboro Parks and Recreation Department, with Don Tilley, Phil Hardin and Tom Shalley shadowing Wayne, to help keep away the pain and the rain…

This was one of the top crews in the history of the GPRD/Greensboro Parks and Recreation Department, and as one old man said down by Glenwood Center the other day, “they don’t make like that bunch any more”…

Wayne was even the Personal Trainer for the kid from Butler High School, who went on to play at Tennessee…Wayne liked working with the post players…He worked and help train Cierra Burdick from David Butler High School in Charlotte, N.C. and Burdick’s high school coach was also named Butler…

Burdick graduated from David W. Butler High School in 2011. She was one of five finalists for the Naismith National High School Player of the Year award in 2011.

Burdick graduated from The University of Tennessee in 2015. Burdick was named a UT Torchbearer in 2015…..

Cierra Burdick was drafted by the Los Angeles Sparks(WNBA) in 2015….(And Wayne Butler helped train her on the weekends.)

Wayne also coached Nicole Hargraves at Grimsley High School and Hargraves was a post player, who graduated from Grimsley High School, and played for the Charlotte 49ers in college…

Wayne Butler got the job done….

The Butler came to do a job, The Butler got his job done, and “The Butler has gone home”…..

Wished we could have still had him around a little longer, but on this Monday September 2, 2019:
RIP Wayne Butler

++++++++++Wayne Butler was 71 years old when he passed away on Sunday….++++++++++


  1. Wayne Butler was one of the top leaders in the Greensboro Parks and Recreation Department. His service to our city is appreciated and he will be missed.


  2. As a kid hanging around the Glenwood Rec Center in the seventies, Coach Butler was a permanent fixture there. I played football for him for 3 years and we never lost a game. He was a fantastic coach, an extraordinary mentor and a great man. The life lessons I learned from him have stayed with me to this day. I enjoyed running into him over the years and reminiscing about those days. You can’t replace a Wayne Butler. RIP coach. Miss you already.

  3. Mr. Lolley and Mr. Hylton we’re talking about Mr. Butler this past Friday night in the press box at Roscoe Billings Stadium, on the campus of Northwest High School. There wasn’t a clock operator and they were wishing that Mr. Butler was there to be the clock operator. My father also played with Mr Butler and Don Tilley at Smith High School and played on the offensive line. Wish Dad was here to tell me stories about playing with Mr. Butler, but I’m sure they’re playing in a pickup game up on the greatest gridiron we could imagine right about now.

Comments are closed.