OFFENSIVE COACHING STAFF
Offensive Coordinator, Quarterbacks Coach
Kyle Conner, a former standout player for the Bulldogs, enters his sixth consecutive season and tenth season overall as a member of the Butler coaching staff. He returned to Butler in the spring of 2012. He currently serves as the Offensive Coordinator, while also overseeing the offensive line.
Conner's offenses have contributed greatly to Butler's success in the Pioneer Football League, including the 2013 campaign that included the second-highest win total in program history, a PFL title and a berth in the NCAA Division I Football Championship.
During the 2017 season, Conner helped coach wide receiver Pace Temple, a unanimous All-PFL First-Team selection.The junior registered 65 catches for 1,075 yards as a junior, becoming just the fourth Bulldog in program history to go over 1,000 yards in a season. He had five 100-yard games in 2017. His receptions per game and yards per game were both second in the PFL. He is 13th in FCS at 97.7 yards per game.
He first joined Butler’s football staff in 2002 as tight ends coach, and he coached wide receivers in 2003 and 2004. Conner served as Co-Offensive Coordinator for the Bulldogs in 2005.
Conner was a star wide receiver for the Bulldogs, 1997-2000, and he finished his career in third place on Butler’s all-time list for pass receptions (124) and in fourth place in all-time receiving yards (1,801). He remains on Butler’s “Top 10” list in both categories. He also owns Butler’s sixth-highest single-season totals for receptions (63 in 2000) and receiving yards (876 in 2000) and Butler’s single-game record for receiving yards (260 vs. San Diego, 2000).
The former Chatard High School player was a team captain as a senior and a two-time All-Pioneer Football League performer. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Butler in 2001.
After leaving Butler's staff in 2006, Conner spent five seasons, 2006-10, on the football staff at Indiana. He served as Offensive Quality Control coach in 2006 and then coached tight ends in 2007 and 2008, before adding assistant offensive line coach duties in 2009. In his final season at Indiana, he coached offensive tackles and tight ends. He was part of the staff that led Indiana to its first bowl game in 14 years in 2007. Conner spent the 2011 season at Valparaiso as the secondary coach and special teams coordinator.
Offensive Line Coach
Colin Johnson returned to the Butler football staff as the offensive line coach in January of 2018. Johnson previously served on the Butler staff in 2011 and 2012.
“We are extremely excited to have Colin coming back to our program,” said Voris. “He was really good when he was here and has continued to grow and develop under some outstanding coaches since he left. Colin truly understands ‘The Butler Way’ and is a really good offensive line coach. His background and knowledge will benefit our program across the board. We can’t wait to have Colin back in Hinkle and around our players and staff.”
Johnson has served on the DePauw University staff since 2013, assisting former Butler coach Bill Lynch. Johnson helped lead DePauw to an 8-2 overall record, including a second-place finish in the North Coast Athletic Conference, during the 2017 season. He developed eight all-conference selections during his time at DePauw. Additionally, Kody Bontreger was an all-region honoree twice.
In his first stint at Butler (2011-12), Johnson worked with the team’s defensive tackles. Grant Hunter became the Pioneer Football League’s career sacks leader while Johnson was on staff. Hunter earned an invitation to the Cincinnati Bengals’ training camp.
Johnson left Butler for a position at The College of Wooster in 2012. In addition to working with the offensive line at Wooster, he also served as the staff video coordinator.
Johnson worked at Indiana University as a special teams quality control coach and an offensive graduate assistant from 2008-11. While at Indiana, Johnson worked with National Football League draft selections Rodger Saffold and James Brewer.
He began his coaching career on the staffs at Warren Central and Zionsville High Schools after serving as an intern on the Ball State football staff during the 2003 season.
Johnson earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in exercise science and wellness from Ball State University in 2003 after earning four letters and serving as co-captain for the Cardinals. He spent one season competing in the Arena Football League 2 as a member of the Peoria Pirates where he started and played in 11 games and helped lead the Pirates to the 2004 Arena Cup.
Running Backs Coach
Joey Hecklinski joined the Butler Football coaching staff in April of 2017, prior to the 2017 season. He serves as the program's running backs coach.
He comes to the Bulldogs from Marian University, where he also served as the running backs coach. In addition to his coaching responsibilities, Hecklinski also served as a Community Service Coordinator.
He played a large role in game-planning during his two seasons at Marian, helping the Knights to the 2015 NAIA National Championship and 2016 MSFA Conference Championship.
Before he stepped into the role of running backs coach for Marian, Hecklinski coached wide receivers as well as quarterbacks at Manchester University during the 2014 season.
Hecklinski graduated from Marian in 2014, where he completed his undergraduate education with a double major in Mathematics and Secondary Education, and a minor in Economics. Hecklinski graduated Magna Cum Laude. He is currently pursuing his master's degree in Recreation and Sport Administration from Western Kentucky University.
(Photo coming soon)Craig Neece
Tight Ends Coach
Asst. Wide Receivers Coach
Trae Heeter ('14) coaches the tight ends for Butler's football program. He returned to his alma mater in this role in April of 2017.
Heeter joins the coaching staff, bringing experience as one of the top running backs in Butler history. An offensive threat for the Bulldogs, he was a two-time First Team All-PFL running back and scored a league-high 16 touchdowns in 2013. Heeter completed his playing career in 2013 with 3,329 total rushing yards, good for fourth on Butler's all-time rushing list. He was part of the Bulldogs' 9-4 record and appearance in the NCAA Division I Football Championship in 2013.
Heeter's performance helped the team become the first team in school and PFL history to earn a berth in the NCAA Division I Football Championship.