|No. 22, 20|
|Born:||July 10, 1937|
|Height:||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|Weight:||189 lb (86 kg)|
|NFL Draft:||1959 / Round: 19 / Pick: 217|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Player stats at PFR|
William R. Butler (born July 10, 1937) is a former American football safety in the National Football League (NFL) for the Green Bay Packers, Dallas Cowboys, Pittsburgh Steelers and Minnesota Vikings. He also was a member of the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the Canadian Football League (CFL). He played college football at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
In 1988, he was inducted into the UTC Athletics Hall of Fame.
Green Bay packers
Butler was selected by the Green Bay Packers in the 19th round (217th overall) of the 1959 NFL Draft. Although he was initially waived in training camp, he was re-signed after the team cut fellow rookie Tim Brown.
Butler was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the 1960 NFL Expansion Draft and was moved to defense, becoming the first starting free safety in franchise history. He ranked second in the league in punt returns (10.1-yard avg.) and also had 20 kickoff returns with a 19.1-yard average.
In 1961, he had 3 interceptions, while playing 10 games as a backup safety. On April 7, 1962, he was traded to the Minnesota Vikings in exchange for a sixth round draft selection, completing a previous transaction.
In 1962, he started 12 games at safety and posted 5 interceptions (second on the team), returning one for a touchdown. He also led the team in kickoff (26 returns - 22.6-yard avg.) and punt returns (12 returns - 14.1-yard avg.).
In 1963, he repeated as the team leader in kickoff (33 returns - 21.6-yard avg.) and punt returns (21 returns - 10.5-yard avg.). In 1964, for the third season in a row, he led the team in kickoff (26 returns - 23-yard avg.) and punt returns (22 returns - 7.1-yard avg.).
On August 20, 1965, Butler signed with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League (CFL). He was a two-way player and appeared in 12 games. He registered 44 carries for 138 yards (3.1-yard avg.), 16 receptions for 139 yards, one touchdown and 9 kickoff returns for 206 yards (22.9-yard avg.). He announced his retirement the following year.
- "Current Hall of Fame Members". Archived from the original on October 2, 2015. Retrieved June 25, 2020.
- "Packers Hall of Fame announces donation of Lombardi-era team apparel pieces". Retrieved June 25, 2020.
- "1960 NFL Expansion Daft". Retrieved June 25, 2020.
- "Speedster Strengthens Defense". Retrieved June 25, 2020.
- "Cowboys Swap 2 For Moegle". Retrieved June 25, 2020.
- "Vikings Obtain Butler From Steelers". Retrieved June 25, 2020.
- "Bed-Ridden Backs". Retrieved June 25, 2020.
- "Riders Sign Four". Retrieved June 25, 2020.
- "John Thome New Lakeland Grid Coach". Wausau Daily Herald. Wausau, Wisconsin. Associated Press. April 8, 1967. p. 12. Retrieved November 24, 2020 – via Newspapers.com .
- "Ripon Tigers On-Line Media Guide". ripontigerfootball.com. Retrieved June 25, 2020.