Butch Zike was appointed head coach of Franklin College’s softball team in March of 2012.
A 1972 Franklin College graduate and former Grizzly baseball and basketball player, Zike retired at Whiteland Community High School in June after serving as a teacher, coach and athletic director at his high school alma mater for 38 years.
Zike has established a winning culture within his four seasons, leading the Grizzlies to Heartland Collegaite Athletic Conference postseason appearances during the 2016 and 2013 seasons. The 2016 campaign brought Franklin a new school record for victories with 25 wins. Three players earned All-Central Region honors by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association with outfielders Megan Lalioff and Katie Struewing joining designated player Savannah Blevins in the postseason accolades.
He led the Grizzlies to 21 victories in 2014 and 2015. Pitcher Olivia Paszek earned third-team All-Central Region honors by the NFCA following the 2015 season.
In 2014, Lalioff was named the HCAC's Freshman of the Year and was a second-team All-Central Region selection by the NFCA. She became just the second softball player in school history to earn all-region accolades. Katie Struewing set a school record with 18 doubles and McKensie Vanosdol won a school record 14 games in the circle.
The 2015 campaign saw the Grizzlies post a 21-13 record. Savannah Blevins and Vanosdol were named first-team All-HCAC selections. Baylea Suiters and Lalioff earned second-team all-conference honors, while Olivia Paszek was selected to the honorable mention team. Paszek was also named a third-team NFCA All-Central Region selection.
He led the Grizzlies to a fourth-place finish and a trip to the HCAC tournament in 2013. Under Zike the team has posted a .500 or better conference record each season.
Zike coached travel softball for seven years, including when his daughter was playing for him, and had the opportunity to network with softball coaches throughout the state. He also was an assistant softball coach at Whiteland for two seasons and gave softball hitting lessons for 15 years.
Zike coached baseball at WCHS for 14 seasons (from 1980-88 and 1993-97). His 1985 Warriors team produced one of the school’s greatest achievements, a trip to the then single-class IHSAA state finals at Bush Stadium in Indianapolis.
He also guided the Whiteland boys’ basketball team.
Zike then became Whiteland’s athletic director, serving in that capacity for the past 24 years and overseeing an interscholastic sports program that changed markedly with the school system’s unprecedented growth in enrollment and facilities.
Upon graduation from high school, Zike was accepted at West Point, but transferred to Franklin College soon after. After being at Thorntown and Silver Creek schools for one year each, he was hired by the Clark Pleasant School Corporation prior to 1974-75.
During his tenure as AD, Zike was honored as the Indiana Interscholastic Athletic Administrator Association’s Athletic Administrator of the Year in 2011.