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?
Which ones stick out in your mind as being special?
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.