Antioch High School 1991The early 1990s was a golden era for Antioch football, as Mark Butterfield was one of five Panthers in a five-year span to eventually play in the National Football League. Mark, possessed of a live arm and nimble feet, entered his senior year as a preseason All-America pick of Super Prep Magazine and Blue Chip Report, and was ranked as the top returning quarterback on the West Coast after passing for 2,168 yards and 17 touchdowns as a junior. He threw for 3,957 yards in his career, with 28 TDs in his last two years, and was two-time first-team All-Bay Valley Athletic League.
Though his numbers did not match the output from his junior season, Mark nonetheless was named the Panthers’ MVP and received the Ron Pritchard Award as the team’s Most Outstanding Back. He was an Honorable Mention selection on the All-East Bay Team, and the Contra Costa Times selected him the No. 2 prospect in its annual Cream of the Crop. Butterfield had already committed to Stanford by that time.
Mark, 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds, officially ended his high school career in fine fashion, throwing a touchdown pass for the North in a 14-0 victory over the South in the 1992 Shrine Game, in front of 11,000 fans at the Rose Bowl.
After attempting just 51 passes in his first three seasons, Mark became the Cardinal starter in 1995, and was a team co-captain. He helped them get out of the gate fast with a season-opening 47-33 victory over San Jose State, and later engineered a 28-21 upset of 12th-ranked Oregon. Mark passed for for 2,533 yards and 19 touchdowns as a senior, leading the Cardinal to a 7-4-1 mark and a berth in the Liberty Bowl against East Carolina. He was second-team All-Pac-10, after leading the conference in TD passes and finishing third in completions (194), attempts (333) and yardage. Mark threw a career-high four TDs in a loss to UCLA, and was the Cardinal MVP for 1995.
Mark was passed over in the 1996 draft but spent the season with the Chicago Bears, following a stint on the Arizona Cardinals’ practice squad. In 1998 he played for Scotland and Frankfurt in the NFL Europe, reaching the NFLE championship game with Frankfurt. He then spent a season with the San Jose SaberCats of the Arena Football League before retiring.
Butterfield began his career in football part of the first group to play for the Antioch Youth Football program, then returned to Antioch as a coach after his career ended. Mark now works in the biotechnology industry, at BioMarin Pharmaceutical since 2005.