Defensive back Butler retires as player, becomes Tiger-Cats assistant coach

Defensive back Craig Butler retired as a player from the Canadian Football League on Saturday and joined the Hamilton Tiger-Cats staff as an assistant coach.

The six-foot-one, 201-pound native of London, Ont., was named a CFL All-Star in 2015 after registering 43 defensive tackles, four sacks and one interception in 14 games for the Tiger-Cats. He also earned his third of three Divisional All-Star selections that season, with the other two coming in 2011 and 2014.

“Craig has been, and will continue to be, a valuable member of our organization,” said Kent Austin, vice-president of football operations for the Tiger-Cats. “We would like to thank him for everything he gave as a player both on and off the field these last four seasons, and congratulate him on a decorated career as a player in the CFL.

“We know his leadership and unwavering dedication to our team will continue in his new role and look forward to watching him develop as a coach in this league.”

Butler missed the entire 2016 CFL season due to injury and appeared in just two games this season for the Tiger-Cats.

Selected by the Saskatchewan Roughriders out of Western University in the second round, 12th overall, in the 2011 CFL Draft, Butler split his seven-year career with the Roughriders (2011-13) and Tiger-Cats (2014-17).

He played in 87 career regular season CFL games, making 214 defensive tackles, 42 special teams tackles, eight quarterback sacks, 13 interceptions and three forced fumbles.

Butler also played in six playoff games, including two Grey Cup games (2013, 2014), and was a Grey Cup champion in 2013 with Saskatchewan.

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