By Seattle Totems Staff
Seattle Totems Owner and General Manager, Michael Murphy, announced today Mike Butters has been hired as Head Coach. Butters joins the organization with over 27 years of post-playing coaching and management experience including years at the National Hockey League Level.
“We are extremely excited having a career hockey man like Mike join the Totems organization,” said Murphy. “Mike shares our vision and goals for the future, and he will have an opportunity to create an environment and build a culture of high-performance, hard work and high accountability. I have known Mike for years and throughout the hiring process, it became immediately evident that Mike deeply understands the team, the level we play at, and what is needed to add to our past successes. He has established a positive culture with a high level of work ethic and player accountability wherever he has previously served and the on-ice successes of his teams and individual player advancement is legendary. He is a high-character individual that is a
perfect fit to lead us into the next era of the Seattle Totems.”
Butters, 56, returns to Seattle after recently resigning as U17 Prep Head Coach for the Coeur d’Alene Hockey Academy after one season (2022-23). Prior to that, Mike was with the Sno-King Jr. Thunderbirds organization, serving as Coaching Director and 16U AAA Head Coach. During that time, Mike’s teams amassed an impressive 191-98-27 record, and several league, state and tournament championships. Mike was awarded with the East Coast Elite League Coach of the Year Honors in 2022.
Mike is no stranger to the area as he and Murphy re-established the Seattle Junior Hockey Association’s Female Hockey Program in 2012, after a 12-year absence. Butters served SJHA as their Female Hockey Director and was the Head Coach of both the 14U AAA and 16U AAA teams while there. During his five-year run with the Lady Admirals, Butters coached the “Addies” to numerous state and tournament titles and established the program as the only Tier 1 AAA female program in the Pacific Northwest.
In addition, he helped to advance several players to NCAA Division I and Division III programs, as well as one professional player, Leah Marino. Mike’s coaching and managing experience includes positions in the National Hockey League (Pro Scout, College Scout, Analytics), American Hockey League (General Manager, Asst. Coach) and East Coast Hockey League (General Manager, Asst. Coach, Player/Coach).
Butters also spent over a decade involved at the junior hockey level (NAHL, AWHL, NPHL) as a general manager, head coach, associate coach and assistant coach. During his time in junior hockey, teams involving Butters’ leadership and involvement captured several national, playoff and league championships and advanced hundreds of players to the higher levels of junior, NCAA college and professional ranks in the process.
“I am honored to have the ability to coach a team with such a rich history and success as the Seattle Totems,” said Butters. “I have known ‘Murph’ (Mike Murphy) for years and we’ve always talked about doing something like this together. To be able to have a voice in the future direction of this storied team is something I will not take for granted. I plan to build on a culture that promotes the daily growth of the players. We will build an environment based on trust. My philosophy is to keep moving forward and advancing as a team and as individuals. To accomplish this, we will need to be committed and consistent. I am also excited to coach in the USPHL, which has established itself as a top league in the advancement of players.”
On the international stage, Butters worked with CIHL, serving Team Canada and Team USA, as Head Coach, in international championships in the 1990s and 2000s, capturing several championships.
The former defenseman/right winger played nine years professionally. He earned National Hockey League contracts with Detroit, Montreal and Quebec and played for New Haven (AHL), Adirondack (AHL), Halifax (AHL), Fort Wayne (IHL), Leysin (Swiss), Greensboro (ECHL), Knoxville (ECHL), Bakersfield (WCHL), and Fresno (SHL). Mike also played for Team Canada in the Coupe Beard (1987), capturing a silver medal. Coach Butters, and his wife Katie, have two daughters, Madeline and Margeaux.