Georgetown women’s basketball coach Tasha Butts dies from breast cancer at 41

Georgetown University’s women’s basketball coach Tasha Butts died Monday from breast cancer. She was 41.

Butts was diagnosed with advanced stage metastatic breast cancer in November 2021. She came to the Hoyas in April after she was successful as an assistant coach at Georgia Tech, Louisiana State University, UCLA and Duquesne.

“Tasha’s passing is a devastating loss,” Georgetown President John J. DeGioia said in a statement. “She was extraordinary — Tasha was a person of character, determination, vision and kindness. She will be deeply missed by our community and by so many people around the country who have been inspired by her life.”

Butts stepped away from the program for treatment in September. Assistant coach Darnell Haney took over as the interim head coach and will remain in that role through the 2023-24 season, which begins in November.

Prior to arriving at Georgetown, Butts worked four years as an assistant coach at Georgia Tech, helping the Yellow Jackets reach back-to-back NCAA Tournaments.

“Tasha was so instrumental to the success of this program,” Georgia Tech head coach Nell Fortner said. “We are incredibly sad this day has come. She battled from the day of her diagnosis. We are proud of her fight to the end. We will forever love Tasha. She will forever be missed.”

Butts played college ball at Tennessee under Hall of Fame coach Pat Summitt, and she was a key player in the Lady Vols’ three straight trips to the Final Four from 2002 to 2004. She was selected with the 20th overall pick in the 2004 WNBA Draft and played one season with the Minnesota Lynx before briefly continuing her playing career overseas.

In 2007, Butts began her coaching career as an assistant at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. Butts then spent three seasons at UCLA before traveling back east and working for eight years at LSU, through the 2018-19 season.

“When I met Tasha, I knew she was a winner on the court, and an incredible person whose drive, passion and determination was second to none,” Georgetown athletic director Lee Reed said. “This is a difficult time for the entire Georgetown community, and we will come together to honor her memory.”