Georgetown women’s basketball coach Tasha Butts has died, per the Associated Press. She was 41.
On Monday (October 23), Georgetown athletic director Lee Reed announced that Butts, 41, died two years after being diagnosed with advanced-stage breast cancer.
“I am heartbroken for Tasha’s family, friends, players, teammates and colleagues,” Reed said in a statement. “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.”
Butts started coaching at Georgetown in April after her departure from Georgia Tech and a professional career in the WNBA. The women's basketball coach announced her advanced-stage metastatic breast cancer diagnosis while working at Georgia Tech in 2021.
Butts stepped away from coaching Georgetown last month amid treatment. Interim head coach Darnell Haney said last week that he had been in constant communication with Butts.
“We kept her up to date with what’s going on with the program. Shoot her a text on how practice went, how things are going in the conference,” Haney said. “Do stuff to make her smile and keep her mind off what was she was going through. We’d send her film from practice.”
This October, teams across the country shared encouraging videos on social media to lift Butts' spirits amid her treatment. Butts' diagnosis also inspired the "Tasha Tough" campaign, which aims to bring awareness to breast cancer and raise money so women can receive quality care through the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.
“Tasha’s passing is a devastating loss. She was extraordinary,” Georgetown president John J. DeGioia said in a statement. “Tasha was a person of character, determination, vision, and kindness. She will be deeply missed by our community and by so many people around the country who have been inspired by her life.”
Before coaching at Georgetown and Georgia Tech, Butts had stints at Duquesne, UCLA and LSU. Butts, who played at Tennessee from 2000 to 2004, also had a brief career in the WNBA, playing for Minnesota, Charlotte, and Houston.
Rest in Peace, Tasha Butts.