Arielle Butler is a USP Certified Advisor. A former college tennis coach at Covenant College and Montevallo University, she brings valuable experience in the college recruiting world. Arielle was also a former stand out college tennis player at Harding University, where she was named two-time All-Great American Conference player and helped the team to a conference championship and NCAA Tournament appearance in 2014. Her passion and drive to make a difference in young people's lives make her a great fit into our team.
This is the eighth interview of a series we did to all our staff members, we want you to really get to know us, understand who we are, where we come from and why are we so passionate about college athletics and helping young students and athletes secure their future.
USP: Tell us about your background. Where are you from? Where did you grow up?
Arielle: I grew up in Searcy, Arkansas.
USP: Where did you go to college?
Arielle: I went to college at Harding University (NCAA Division II).
USP: Who have been your strongest influences in life?
Arielle: My strongest influences in life have been my family and my friends. My family has always supported me and my friends have always inspired me to do my best, especially those friends who were also athletes.
USP: What led you to this career? How did you end up at USP?
Arielle: I was drawn to USP because of a love for recruiting that I developed during my time as a college coach. Helping students and their families connect with the best school and athletic program for them is a great feeling.
USP: What is your personal experience with college sports?
Arielle: My experience as a college tennis player taught me to work hard and be resilient while also being an encouraging teammate. I was also able to make great friends from all over the world.
USP: Tell us one or two unforgettable stories from your time as a college player and then college coach.
Arielle: My most unforgettable moment as a college tennis player was winning the clinching match for my team in our 2014 conference tournament championship. Being swarmed by your teammates and getting to celebrate together as champions is an unmatched feeling. As a college coach, my favorite moments were winning the matches that came down to a 3-3 overall score and seeing our players win that final fourth point, as well as seeing freshmen win their very first college matches and gain a new sense of confidence.
USP: What tips would you give a student that is preparing for college?
Arielle: Students who are preparing to play college tennis need to make sure they are prepared for when things do not always go their way. Being on a team is very different than playing junior tournaments and it is important to always be a good teammate, even if you have not yet earned the spot in the lineup you think you deserve. The importance of academics also cannot be stressed enough. Above all, arrive at your new school with an open mind and a willingness to learn and enjoy the ride!
Thank you, Arielle!