As a high school athlete, Sursavage helped the Wildcats bring home the Class A Region 4 Football Championship in 1963 and was later honored by Andrews High School in 2022 when they retired his jersey. He went on to play for the Clemson Tigers as a defensive end and earned conference recognition.
In 1965, #86 was named to First-Team All-ACC as a sophomore, only the 3rd sophomore in school history to earn this honor, and he made the All-ACC roster again in his junior year.
Unfortunately, his football career was cut short due to an ACL injury his senior year. Outside of athletics, Sursavage was one of four student-athletes who began Clemson’s first FCA chapter which has been touted to be now the largest chapter in the country.
Years later, Sursavage would continue to make an impact spiritually and physically when he joined Ben Lippen’s faculty in 1992. For the next decade, he served the BL community as a Bible teacher, coach, and mentor. Along with coaching junior varsity and varsity basketball, Sursavage was an integral part of starting the school’s football program on its new Columbia campus.
Before Ben Lippen kicked off its first official football season in 1993, the Falcons partnered with Carolina Children’s Home and other small schools for competition. He also worked behind the scenes to build the school’s first weight room and was willing to travel to various places around the state to pick up used equipment and recover it in the BL green.
As a coach, Sursavage knew how to get the most out of the players to make them a more competitive team, and while he earned a reputation as a demanding coach, he is equally remembered as humble and very approachable. Sursavage’s mentorship expanded beyond athletics. Living next to campus, his family reached out to international resident students, providing a sense of family for those far from home. They frequently hosted dinners and events, such as Super Bowl parties.
Coach Marty Simpson shared that “meeting and interacting and becoming good friends with Butch Sursavage was one of the best things about my time there. If you find a genuinely more likable man and mentor than Butch, you should count yourself blessed.”