John Butler described his Wednesday as just another day at the office until Penn State head football coach Bill O'Brien popped his head in and told him he was promoted from secondary coach to defensive coordinator.
Butler will replace Ted Roof, who left Penn State after one season to take the defensive coordinator job at Georgia Tech, his alma mater.
Butler says he's been preparing for this job since he began his coaching career more than 15 years ago.
The self-described "intense" coach seemed relatively low-key when talking with WTAJ on Thursday, showing a calmness as he starts the new position.
Butler will emphasize recruiting in the next couple of weeks, trying to fill in for the efforts Penn State lost when Roof resigned.
On the field, Butler will use an aggressive, multiple-style defense very similar to what the Nittany Lions ran in 2012.
"It's not like 'Oh, Coach Butler's in charge now. Now we're going to put this total different defense in,'" Butler said. "This is a defense that Ted (Roof) and I coached together in - exactly the same - at Minnesota. We came here and put this together here with the help of Larry (Johnson) and Ron (Vanderlinden) here at Penn State. And we'll continue to build upon the foundations we built on this year."
Because Butler served last year as both the seconday coach and special teams coordinator, he says he has built relationships with at least 80 percent of the players he wil coach on defense.
Butler expects those existing bonds to be key in 2013.