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Butch Hampton to leave Western Michigan football program, pursue soccer career in Oklahoma

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The Piedmont, Oklahoma native helped WMU gain its first MAC Championship in 28 years.

NCAA Football: MAC Championship-Western Michigan at Ohio Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Butch Hampton, the true freshman placekicker for the Western Michigan Broncos, has left the program, per Cory Olson of MLive.

Hampton, who was 19-of-24 on field goals and 71-of-73 on PAT’s in 2016, will return to his native Oklahoma to pursue a career in soccer.

Hampton made coaches and staff aware of his decision the day after Western Michigan’s loss to Wisconsin in the Cotton Bowl Classic.

Hampton has already enrolled and begun classes at the University of Science and Arts, which has an NAIA-level men’s soccer program, in Chickasha, Oklahoma. His father Jimmy Hampton is a coach at the program.

In Olson’s MLive artice, Hampton said it was “a change of heart” that led him to make the decision and that he was never unhappy to be in Kalamazoo.

Hampton was a key contributor to the Broncos this season, kicking five field goals to help Western Michigan secure the MAC Championship against the Ohio Bobcats in November.

Hampton emerged victorious in spring camps, beating out three other kickers to secure the job this season. All three kickers will return to the program in 2017 to compete for the spot.