What exactly is Joe Butler's Metro-Index Camp?

I, being as curious as anyone else, have always wanted to know exactly what the details of the Metro-Index Camp were. For years I have always heard of this camp being mentioned by coaches and players from Western Pennsylvania. So I decided to call Mr. Butler and find out for others and myself just what exactly is this Metro-Index Camp.

The Metro-Index is a recruiting service and a fundamentals and skills camp. The idea was set into motion in 1977 as strictly for basketball, and then in 1979 Butler decided to get into the football end of the business as well. After 24 years Butler ended the basketball side of his business, as it is now solely football.

Joe started out in the mid seventies coaching peewee football at St. Bernard in Mount Pleasant. A very good friend of his was Tom Donahoe, who many Pittsburgh Steelers fans remember well. Tom graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and was hired as the head coach at Seton Lasalle high school. Joe Butler joined Donahoe's staff as an assistant coach and served at the AA WPIAL school for three seasons. It was then that the two decided to incorporate a teaching camp in with the recruiting service.

The recruiting service is the brunt of the Metro-Index business as college coaches and recruiting coordinators stop by the offices and watch films frequently. The camps are held twice in May and are four days long with 3-hour sessions each day. It is a commuter camp. The two camps now attract around 600 kids each year.

When did you actually start your first camp?

"We had our first camp in 1981 at Mt. Lebanon. Since then we have bounced around from Duquesne University, Carnegie Mellon University, North Allegheny High School, Mt. Lebanon, and we are now at the UPMC South Side Training facility."

Describe your working relationship with Tom?

"We've coached together and have been friends for a long time, we often golf together. He is very well organized and proficient."

What does your camp consist of, is it teaching or is it a combine type of event?

"It is mild instruction, some minor athletic testing. Basically though it is instruction of the fundamentals."

What kind of staff do you have?

"We have various high school coaches from Western PA and West Virginia who teach at the camps."

Is it invitation only or is it open to anyone?

"It is open to anyone, there is a small fee to cover expenses. We give each kid a t-shirt and shorts. We also have to pay insurance and the rental fee for the UPMC facility."

Who are some of the bigger named athletes who are alumni of your camp?

"LaVar Arrington, Solomon Page, Mike McMahon, Mark Bulger, Jake Schifino, there have been a lot."

Which ones stick out in your mind as being special?

"I could name hundreds, but if I had to name a couple I'd say Tyler Reed, Dan Mozes, Marlin Jackson, Lavar Arrington and Rod Rutherford."

How about recently?

"Anthony Morelli, he was here 3 years straight and the kid has a rocket arm. He just got better and better each year."

Joe Butler's Metro-Index Camp will be held May 16-19th from 6pm-9pm and again May 23-26th from 6pm-9pm at the UPMC South Side Facility. Coaches, parents and interested players can contact Joe Butler at (412) 343-7099 for additional details.

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