Toughness: Clemson coach returns to action a few days after emergency surgery


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Amanda Butler was back on the court just a few days after emergency surgery
Amanda Butler was back on the court just a few days after emergency surgery

CLEMSON – Toughness is making the game-winning shot at the buzzer, hitting the free throws to ice the game, taking a charge in the low block or fighting for an offensive rebound.

Toughness is running up and down the sideline of Littlejohn Coliseum three days after having an emergency appendectomy.

Amanda Butler is tough, and she doesn’t know any other way.

Butler, Clemson’s women’s basketball head coach, was out on the recruiting trail last weekend when she started feeling like something was wrong and it didn’t take long for her doctor realize her appendix needed to come out. For most people, recovery from an appendectomy takes anywhere from one to three weeks.

For Butler? Less than three days, because she wasn’t going to let her team face No. 5 Notre Dame without her on the sidelines.

“I was on the road recruiting this weekend and didn't feel well. Sunday night, I knew it was probably time to go to the doctor and the doctor said it's time to go to the hospital and get your appendix out,” Butler told TigerNet Thursday night. “Life goes on, right? I didn't go to practice yesterday (Wednesday) but I was there on Monday.”

Unfortunately for Butler and Clemson, Notre Dame proved they were worthy of their ranking beating Clemson 101-63, but it wasn’t because Clemson’s head coach was absent from practice or giving everything she had from the sideline.

“You've got to give Notre Dame credit. I don't think me being at practice or not at practice or healthy and full strength, they played great,” Butler said. “I believe in toughness. I don't know any other way to be. I don't think I could sit at home, so here I am. Whether it made a difference or not, here I am.”

Butler preaches toughness during practice and games and she wasn’t going to let an opportunity to show toughness pass by without sending a message to her players and coaching staff.

“When part of what you really want to see in them is a certain quality and then you have opportunities to walk that talk and model what you want that toughness in action to look like, it was a great opportunity and I didn't really feel like I was jeopardizing my health too much,” she said. “I just had to wear some comfortable pants and try not to bust a stitch running up and down the sidelines.”

The Lady Tigers have a quick turnaround as they face their third consecutive opponent ranked in the top-10 when they host No. 3 Louisville Saturday at 2 p.m.

Toughness will be needed as they hit the stretch run of the season.

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