Victoria University has inducted lacrosse legend and Sport Australia Hall of Fame member John Butkiewicz into its own VU Sport Hall of Fame at its 2014 Sport Awards.
The Williamstown local joins other VU alumni sporting greats in its Hall of Fame, including:
- Andrew Gaze (basketball)
- Mike McKay (rowing)
- Peter Thomson (golf)
- Larry Sengstock (basketball)
- Rachael Dacy (pole vault)
- Tony Dodemaide (cricket)
- Brad Johnson (Australian Rules)
- Luke Doerner (hockey).
In 1974 John was among the first 14 graduates of a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering degree from Footscray Institute of Technology, VU's predecessor institution. His two daughters also graduated from VU with business degrees, one of whom also played lacrosse for Australia.
Starting the sport in Williamstown at just age 11, John played for the Williamstown Lacrosse Club for more than 30 years and his now a life member.
He represented Australia in lacrosse a record five times in the World Series - an event that occurs every four years - and played for Victoria at 11 national titles. Among his long list of achievements, John is recognised as the world’s leading 'face-off' player of his era for fundamentally redefining the 'face-off' position and creating new methods of play that have been copied extensively around the world.
John was voted the world's best mid-fielder in 1978 and 1982, and was a member of the World All Stars Team in 1982. He also made the Australian All Stars team four times and was most valuable player at the Australian Championships three times.