The Authentic Runner

The Authentic Runner by legendary high school coach Tim Butler provides a unique approach to coaching and running based on a “transformational approach”


The Authentic Runner is the work of Tim Butler. Coach Butler is the legendary California Cross Country and Track Coach from Dana Hills High School in Southern California. Coach Butler led Dana Hills to 4 California State Titles, 6 runner ups and 9 Nike Nationals appearances. He is now an assistant at his alma mater, San Clemente High School. He recently helped them to their first Nike Nationals appearance.

His book, The Authentic Runner provides what he describes as a “transformational approach” to coaching and participating in sports and life. Coach Butler provides an alternative to the “win at all costs” transactional philosophy which emphasizes performance and statistics over the heart of the student-athlete, thus redefining the true nature of sport.

The Authentic Runner provides the ingredients necessary to create a healthy heart; and describes what that heart looks like through inspiring stories.  By adhering to the 5 C’s (control-contact-contentment-commitment-character), Coach Butler teaches that sports will serve the highest purpose of being the purveyor of true character and citizenship, which is the purpose of The Authentic Runner.

The Authentic Runner divides itself into three main areas of focus.  The first being Butler’s experiences as an athlete and coach. Here he discusses his mentors and the influences that formed his life and coaching tenets. The second part of the book highlights his five core philosophies, the five C’s: Control, Contact, Contentment, Commitment and Character. The book culminates with alumni testimonials from those Coach Butler has coached and watched grow through his program.

Coach Butler says that “the heart of the matter is the matter of the heart. When people look at my program, I think quality is what’s unique about mine. It is training kids to be adults, to love and to serve.”


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