Georgetown basketball head coach Tasha Butts died Monday after a two-year battle with breast cancer, the team announced.
Butts, 41, was diagnosed with advanced-stage breast cancer in 2021, and she stepped away from the Hoyas in September. Before becoming a coach, she starred for Tennessee from 2000 to 2004 under head coach Pat Summitt, and she played one season for the Minnesota Lynx.
“I am heartbroken for Tasha’s family, friends, players, teammates and colleagues,” Georgetown athletic director Lee 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’ coaching career began in 2007, when she joined Duquesne as an assistant coach. She also served as an assistant coach for UCLA, LSU and Georgia Tech before joining Georgetown in April 2023. When she stepped away from the Hoyas due to her illness, Georgetown named Darnell Haney as the interim head coach.
“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 told the Associated Press. “Do stuff to make her smile and keep her mind off what was she was going through. We’d send her film from practice.”
Her diagnosis inspired the Tasha Tough initiative to raise money for healthcare access for women in need. Georgetown and the Big East plan to continue the campaign throughout the 2023-24 season in her memory.
Heartbroken 💔 We will be strong and stay #TashaTough 💙 🤍 #HoyaSaxa pic.twitter.com/8PTvAyK0H8— Georgetown WBB (@GeorgetownWBB) October 23, 2023
Heartbroken 💔 We will be strong and stay #TashaTough 💙 🤍 #HoyaSaxa pic.twitter.com/8PTvAyK0H8