WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — Georgetown University said Tasha Butts, Women’s Basketball Head Coach, died Monday after fighting breast cancer for two years.
Butts was 41 years old.
“I am heartbroken for Tasha’s family, friends, players, teammates and colleagues,” said Francis X. Rienzo Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Lee Reed. “When I met Tasha, I knew she was a winner on the court, and an incredible person whose drive, passion and determination was second to none. She exhibited these qualities both as a leader and in her fight against breast cancer. This is a difficult time for the entire Georgetown community, and we will come together to honor her memory.”
“I know she was loved by everybody and has, from what I’ve seen, just a really outgoing personality and was very loud. So it’s really heartbreaking,” Patrick Bennett, a member of the school’s track and field team.
Butts graduated from the University of Tennessee with a Bachelor of Science in Sports Management while minoring in Business Administration. She was chosen by the Minnesota Lynx with the 20th selection in the 2004 WNBA Draft.
She came to Georgetown from Georgia Tech in April. There, she helped guide Georgia Tech to back-to-back appearances in the NCAA Tournament. She also spent time as a coach at LSU, UCLA and Dubuque University.
“I cannot believe this day has finally come,” Butts told DC News Now following her introductory news conference in April. “It’s been a long journey, but I am extremely thankful.”
Her death sent shockwaves throughout the college basketball community, especially at Georgetown.
“That is a thing that I’ve had to deal with personally, with my mom, too,” said Natanim Bekele, a student. “So that that is something that hits personally home to adults just adds to the emotion of everything.”
As of Monday evening, there hasn’t been an announcement of a memorial service at Georgetown for Butts.
The school and the Big East Coast Conference, however, announced they will continue to promote her “Tasha Tough Initiative” which brings awareness to early cancer screenings and detection.