By Evan Da Silva
Tim Butler, longtime head coach of the Dana Hills High School boys cross country team, has mastered nearly every aspect of the sport as both a coach and athlete. After five CIF-SS Division I titles, four Division I state titles, seven Nike Cross National titles and seven selections, Butler has begun a new career as an author.
His newly released book, The Authentic Runner, originally started five years ago as an instructional hand-out for parents and their students interested in joining his cross-country team. However, the project grew as Butler saw an opportunity to help the growth process of young athletes and offer advice to fellow coaches through his program.
“As my son Peter put it (about my program),” Butler said, “the heart of the matter is the matter of the heart. When people look at my program and other programs around, I think that quality is what’s unique about mine—training kids to become men, to love and to serve.”
The Authentic Runner portions itself into three main areas of focus, with the first being Butler’s experiences as an athlete and coach in addition to his mentors and influences who have formed his life and coaching tenets. This is followed by highlighting his five core philosophies, or, five C’s: Control, Contact, Contentment, Commitment and Character. The book culminates with alumni testimonials of whom Butler has coached and watched grow through his program.
“The book not only talks about the purpose of sports but it delves into the purpose of life,” Butler said. “It takes things beyond the playing field, beyond having a wife, kids and a career. Hopefully it will get people to think about what they are doing (in life).”
Assisting Butler with the editorial process was JSerra Catholic’s cross country coach Marty Dugard, who has co-penned books with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly.
A portion of the proceeds Butler receives from his book sales will be given to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, an organization that he has led at Dana Hills since he first arrived in 1973. Copies of the book can be found on Butler’s website, www.theauthenticrunner.com.