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Legendary coach, dynamic duo have Satellite High on track for serious success

Anyone who has ever watched Doug Butler take a half-dozen steps on a track gushes in amazement.

He ran a marathon in 2:25.57, was inducted into the Space Coast Hall of Fame, and as a coach is unmatched.

Butler has led 16 teams to Florida state titles. Educated in sports psychology, he left Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy and built Satellite High School into a state contender, finishing seventh, third, second and second during the first four years of his tenure.

Will year No. 5 bring more magic?

This season, Butler’s team is led by Gabe Montague, a junior already being recruited by Wisconsin, and sophomore Justin Wilson, one of the nation’s top freshmen last year.

Montague, fourth in the state last year, has run a 5K in a stunning 15:29. Wilson did 15:44 as a freshman last year.

“As long as they keep their eyes open, they should be OK,’’ joked Butler. “They finished 1-2 in the 20th annual jamboree at Wickham Park in August, another win. They are focused on winning a state championship and want to make it to nationals.’’

Watch out Brevard, something special is coming this fall.

The girls team finished ninth in the state last year and have added four transfers for a virtually revamped team that also won at Wickham. The state race will be Nov. 9 in Tallahassee and the regionals for national qualifying is Nov. 30 in Cary, N.C.

Satellite constructed a $415,000 track two years ago under Butler, which is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week to the public.

“The track was six lanes, so we had to take the asphalt out and a bunch of bushes, then widen it to eight lanes,’’ Butler said. “The rubber was only $150,000. It’s very nice. We’re hoping to move up a notch this fall.’’

Butler said he leaves a gate open “24-7. If we are not using it for a function, it’s always open for the public.’’

Montague ran 9:23 in the 2-mile in the state last year and seems headed for more greatness.

“I throw some brutal workouts at them,” Butler said. “The top 11 went to a camp in Georgia. They are really motivated.”

Workouts for the team are normally before sunrise and can be harsh as the team chases lofty goals. This is a team that in a few months likely will be discussed countywide, if not nationally.

Like Butler, the best is being built yet again.

“That’s our main goal – winning state,’’ he said.

With each stride, the legends continue.

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