Where Are They Now: Butch Feher
June 13, 2012
A member of the famed "F-Troop" with Joe Ford and Jeff Fosnes, former Commodore guard Butch Feher helped Vanderbilt to an SEC Championship in 1974 and still ranks 20th all-time in school history with 1,345 points. He was drafted by the Phoenix Suns in the second round of the 1976 NBA Draft and played one season in the league.
Following his basketball career, he spent a few years in Arkansas before moving to Chattanooga, Tenn., where he still resides. VUCommodores.com recently spoke with Feher, who now spends a portion of his time coaching basketball.
VUCommodores.com: Are you still working or are you retired?
Butch Feher: I'm kind of semi-retired if you would call it that. My two brothers and I are in business together (Ray Feher & Associates) as manufacturing representatives. We sell component parts mostly to the appliance and automotive industry. I'm slowly but surely winding down my career doing that.
I'm also helping coach the basketball team at Signal Mountain High School as an unpaid assistant.
Is coaching the way you stay involved in the sport?
I'm too old to play recreationally, but I enjoy playing with the kids. Basketball has always been a part of my life and it is nice to be able to pass a few things on. They are like, 'Who is this old guy?' I enjoy it though. I've probably learned more from them than they've learned from me. But that is OK, it keeps you young.
How did you end up in Chattanooga?
My wife is originally from Chattanooga, but it wasn't actually the reason we moved back there. Tennessee has become an automotive state, but it is also an appliance state with Fridgidaire in Springfield (Tenn.), Whirlpool in Cleveland (Tenn.) and GE having a facility in La Fayette, Ga., just 30 minutes south of Chattanooga. Chattanooga is a central location to conduct business in these industries so we all just ended up here.
How often do you get back to Nashville?
I try to get up to at least one or two games every year. It's been a little more difficult since I started coaching because of conflicts with games and practices, but I always enjoy going back, watching and seeing all the success Vanderbilt is having.
You were part of a famous winning play in 1974 against No. 14 Alabama when you missed a free throw to tie the game, but ended up getting a layup after the miss. How much does that play stick with you?
I absolutely remember that one. It was interesting because no one expected us to win. Alabama was ranked way ahead of us and they had some great players. I remember the week before, Sports Illustrated came out and had a big article on Alabama and the game against Vanderbilt was hardly mentioned.
Playing at Memorial, strange things can happen. It came down to the wire, we were down by two and I got two free throws. I made the first one, which is usually the hard one, and bricked the second one.
There was a scramble for the rebound, it ended up in a corner and Terry Compton had it. For whatever reason, I was standing under the basket and he threw it to me. I went up for a layup and it was not a pretty thing because it slipped out of my hand. It hit the top of the backboard and fortunately it went through the basket and put us ahead by one and that was it.
I went from the outhouse to the penthouse and it was pretty lucky. They don't ask you how, they just ask you what the final score was at the end of the game.
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