Brice Vignery's debut season will be extended for another game as the Grizzlies earned a bid to the program's 30th bowl game and their first since 2019, as they've been invited to the CHAMPS Heart of Texas Bowl in Commerce, TX. The Bowl game will be played on Saturday, December 3rd at 1:00pm.
"I am really excited for our guys to get to play one last game this season," commented first year head coach Brice Vignery. "They put themselves in a good spot to get a bowl game with a great season and will get to strap it up one more time as a Grizzly this season."
The Grizzlies will head to Commerce, Texas and the Texas A&M University Commerce campus for a showdown with the Kilgore College Rangers. The Rangers and the Grizzlies will meet for the third time, with the Grizzlies taking the last two meetings in 2005 and 2006.
The Rangers come into the game ranked seventh in the country with a record of 8-3 and are the Southwestern Junior College Football Conference champs, having defeated last year's national champion New Mexico Military Institute in the conference championship in a 39-12 victory last week. The Rangers come into Commerce having won their last four games.
The Grizzlies come in with a record of 7-4 having finished 4-2, tied for second in conference play. The Grizzlies are ranked 12th in the NJCAA and have three victories against ranked opponents. Butler ended the season with back-to-back blowout victories against Dodge City and Ellsworth. Vignery's squad finished tied for second in the KJCCC despite being picked just fifth in the preseason coaches poll. Butler's four losses all came from teams in the top-5 in the final NJCAA poll, Hutchinson, Iowa Western, Coffeyville and Snow. Three of the four losses came down to the final posession.
The Grizzlies will look for their 17th bowl game victory, with their last coming in the 2019 Midwest Classic Bowl as they defeated Trinity Valley, 33-23.
Butler has participated in 29 NJCAA Bowl games, now with 28 appearances over the last 40 seasons since winning its first national title in 1981. The Grizzlies have made 11 national championship appearances and won six national titles – including becoming the first NJCAA school to win consecutive titles twice.
Beginning in 1998, the Grizzlies played in 11 straight bowl games and won national championships in 1998, 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2008. Overall, Butler is 16-13 in bowl games with its last bowl appearance coming in 2019 in a 33-23 victory over Trinity Valley, Texas in the Midwest Classic Bowl in Miami, Okl.
Butler Bowl Game History
1950 Coffey Bowl at Coffeyville, Kan. vs. Coffeyville W, 12-9
1981 Rodeo Bowl at Arkansas City, Kan. vs. Northeastern Oklahoma A&M W, 21-14
1983 Roaring Ranger Bowl at Ranger, Texas vs. Ranger W, 21-11
1984 Garland Shrine Bowl at Dallas, Texas vs. Tyler, Texas W, 27-14
1985 Valley of the Sun Bowl at Phoenix, Ariz. vs. Phoenix, Ariz. L, 43-13
1986 Dixie Rotary Bowl at St. George, Utah vs. Dixie State, Utah L, 36-33
1987 Texas Jr. College Bowl at Tyler, Texas vs. Blinn, Texas L, 35-14
1989 R.C. Cola Bowl at Cedar Falls, Iowa vs. Iowa Central W 24-0
1990 East Bowl at Johnson City, Tenn. vs. Lees McRae, N.C. W, 23-8
1993 Mineral Water Bowl at Excelsior Springs, Mo. vs. Northeastern Oklahoma A&M L, 52-50
1996 Valley of the Sun Bowl at Glendale, Ariz. vs. Glendale, Ariz. L, 45-26
1998 Real Dairy Bowl at Pocatello, Idaho vs. Ricks, Idaho W, 22-18
1999 Dixie Rotary Bowl at St. George, Utah vs. Dixie State W, 49-35
2000 Canon Empire Bowl at Long Island, N.Y. vs. Nassau, N.Y. W, 30-20
2001 Golden Isles Bowl at Brunswick, Ga. vs. Georgia Military L, 31-18
2002 Dixie Rotary Bowl at St. George, Utah vs. Dixie State L, 31-19
2003 Dixie Rotary Bowl at St. George, Utah vs. Dixie State W, 14-10
2004 Dalton Defenders Bowl at Coffeyville, Kan. vs. Pearl River, Miss. L, 35-14
2005 Top of the Mountains Bowl at Salt Lake City, Utah vs. Snow, Utah L, 17-14
2006 Dalton Defenders Bowl at Coffeyville, Kan. vs. Vermilion, Minn. W, 57-0
2007 Top of the Mountains Bowl at Salt Lake City, Utah vs. Snow, Utah W, 56-27
2008 Top of the Mountains Bowl at Salt Lake City, Utah vs. Snow, Utah W, 37-30 (2 OT)
2010 Citizens Bank Bowl at Pittsburg, Kan. vs. Navarro, Texas L, 13-12
2011 Citizens Bank Bowl at Pittsburg, Kan. vs. Trinity Valley, Texas W, 21-17
2012 Graphic Edge Bowl at Cedar Falls, Iowa vs. Iowa Western L, 27-7
2013 Graphic Edge Bowl at Cedar Falls, Iowa vs. Iowa Western L, 6-0
2016 Salt City Bowl at Hutchinson, Kan. vs. Eastern Arizona L, 39-38
2018 Midwest Classic Bowl at Miami, Okla. vs. Northeastern Oklahoma A&M W, 34-30
2019 Midwest Classic Bowl at Miami, Okla. vs. Trinity Valley, Texas W, 33-23
*National Championship games in BOLD