Head Coach

                           Jay Butler

                                 Castleton State' 83

John J. "Jay" Butler begins his third year as a head coach in the Ivy League with the Columbia Lions.

Prior to Columbia, Coach Butler served two years as head coach of women's basketball at St. Mary's College of Maryland, during which he led the Seahawks to the most victories in their history.

Previously, he had spent five years, from 1989 to 1994, as the first assistant women's basketball coach at Brown.  The Bears posted an impressive 98-38 record during his tenure, winning three consecutive Ivy League championships with an Ivy record of 56-14.

Butler served as Brown's recruiting coordinator, with primary responsibility for recruiting players such as Martina Jerant, a former Ivy League Player and Rookie of the Year, and former Ivy Rookie of the Year, Michelle Pagliaro.

A native of North Bergen, New Jersey, Butler played on two Hudson County championship teams at North Bergen High.  He attended Castelton State College in Vermont, where he lettered in 10 varsity sports and was recently inducted into their Hall of Fame.  While at Castleton he earned a B.S. in physical education in 1983.  He received his masters in exercise physiology from the University of Maryland in 1986.

From 1983 to 1986, Butler was the head women's basketball coach at Davis & Elkins College in West Virginia.  He took over a program that had gone only 4-20 the year before he arrived, and turned it around in just three seasons.  The Senators were 14-12 in 1988-89, his final season there.

In his two seasons at St. Mary's, Butler's teams showed significant improvement.  The 1996-96 team posted the most victories by a women's basketball team at the Division III level.  He also served as director of the St. Mary's summer athletic camp, and increased camp enrollment by 70%.  Butler was also in charge of coordinating recruiting for all of St. Mary's teams, and had formulated a database specifically designed for that purpose.

Butler, his wife Tammy and their two children reside in Totowa, New Jersey.

Coach Butler Coaching Record

Year School Record
1994-96 St.Mary's College 
Head Coach 
Let the Seahawk's to the most 
victories in shcool history.
1989-94 Brown University Assitant Coach
1986-89 Davis & Elkins College 
Head Coach
 Back to main page       Email Coach Jay

      Martina Jerant

                                                            Assistant Coach

Jerant, starting her third year as an assistant coach since her 1995 graduation from Brown University, was considered one of the Ivy League's best players while she played for Brown.

Jerant was recruited by Butler for Brown.  While at Brown, Jerant helped lead the team to three consecutive Ivy League championships and, in 1994, the Bears' first NCAA Tournament appearance ever.

Jerant was named the 1992 Ivy League Rookie of the Year, and she went on to make first team All-Ivy League in 1993, 1994 and 1995.  In 1993, she was voted the Ivy Player of the Year.

The 6-foot-5 center scored 1680 points in her career, grabbed 991 rebounds, and blocked 213 shots.  As a senior, she ranked in the nation's Top 20 in field goal percentage, rebounds, and blocks.

A native of Ontario, she competed frequently for the Canadian National Team while at Brown, and she was a member of the Croatian professional team, ZKK Centar Banka.

 Back to main page   Email to Martina

    Denise DiBacco

                                                                    Assistant Coach
                                                                    Colgate '94

Denise DiBacco is also in her third year with the Columbia Lions.

DiBacco joined the Columbia women's basketball staff two years after a stint at the College of St. Rose where she served as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for two years.  While she was there the Golden Knights posted a 26-5 record, and reached the NCAA Division II Regional Finals in each of DiBacco's two seasons.  The Golden Knights were ranked in the nation's Top 20 each year.

DiBacco, a two-year captain and starting point guard at Colgate, graduated in 1994 with a double degree in sociology/anthropology & political science.

Back to main page    Email to Denise

                                                                       Zeki Blanding
                                                                          Assistant Coach
                                                                          Duke '95

Blanding is in her second year as an assistant for the Lions.  A native of Springfield, VA., Blanding was a four-year letterwinner at Duke University, where she received her degree in sociology in 1995.  She ranks third on Duke's all-time blocks list with 63, and helped lead the 1994-95 Blue Devil squad to a record-breaking 22-9 overall record, as well as a second round appearance in the NCAA Championships, where Duke lost in quadruple overtime.

After graduation, Blanding continued her playing career on a professional basketball team in Salzburg, Austria, where she also taught and coached girls basketball at American International Jr./Sr. High School.  Averaging around 30 points a game, the 6-5 center was named to the Austrian All-Star Team.

Blanding comes to Columbia after a stint at American University in Washington DC. She is working on her masters degree at Columbia's Teachers College.

  Back to Main Page