Boutililer has been inactive since suffering a setback in RU’s 1-1 tie with Notre Dame on September 29. He is currently symptom-free, but after consulting with Rutgers team doctor Robert Monaco, as well as the coaching staff, he has decided not to return to action and avoid further injury.
“David is a remarkable young man,” said head coach Bob Reasso. “His willingness to come back not once, but twice, from this injury truly captures the competitive spirit he showed on the field. He will always be remembered as not only a great player, but one of the greatest leaders in our program’s history.”
“This decision is not about soccer, it’s about maintaining a quality of life,” added Reasso. “David has a bright future ahead of him and it is important that his future is protected.”
Boutilier first experienced difficulties following the 2000 season, when prolonged headaches limited his ability to compete in offseason workouts. At that point, he was diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome and missed the entire spring season recovering. After failing to compete during the teams’ trip to Portugal and training sparingly with the team in preparation for the 2001 season, Boutilier took the field for the season opener at Pittsburgh, but played just 20 minutes before dizziness and headaches forced him to the sidelines.
Once again, he was forced to lay dormant for six months during the off-season; he was then permitted to train on his own before finally rejoining the team in August during the team’s pre-season training camp.
Boutilier made his second comeback attempt as a fifth-year senior in 2002. He appeared in five matches, guiding RU to a 3-0-2 record and four shutouts during his stretch. Wearing a protective, rugby-style helmet, he showed the dominating defensive presence that earned him All-BIG EAST and All-Region honors on three occasions and All-America laurels in 2000. Boutilier was not on the field for the lone goal scored in those matches, a 1-1 tie with Notre Dame on September 29. In that match, Boutilier tracked an opponent into Rutgers defensive third of the field and, as he went in for a tackle, he banged his head on the ground just before halftime. He took the field for the start of the second half, but left the game just minutes after play restarted.
A three-time captain, Boutilier played in 67 games for Rutgers, all starts. He earned BIG EAST All-Rookie honors in 1998, Second Team All-BIG EAST honors in 1999 and first team honors in 2000. Boutilier was the only active player named to Rutgers All-20 Year team in the 2000 season, a team voted on by Rutgers fans commemorating Reasso’s 20th season at Rutgers. In addition to his three All-Region selections, he also played with the United States Under-20, Under-18 and Under-17 National Teams and was a founding member of the Princeton Union club team. The NSCAA named him a high school All-American in 1995 and 1996.