Florida hires former Louisiana Tech coach White to replace Donovan
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida has hired Michael White as head men’s basketball coach, director of athletics Jeremy Foley announced on Thursday.
White, the 2014-15 Conference USA Coach of the Year, comes to the Gators after leading Louisiana Tech to a 101-40 record (.716) through the past four seasons, including three consecutive conference championships.
Born in Dunedin, Florida, White brings a wealth of SEC experience to the Gators, as a four-year starter at Ole Miss and later an assistant coach for seven seasons under two different head coaches on the Rebels’ bench.
“I have an incredible amount of respect for the University of Florida, and I am so excited to be a Gator,” White said. “Not only is Florida home for me, but the tradition and success that the Gators have built make this an incredible opportunity. I know about the great home court advantage in the O’Connell Center, which is a testament to the fans and the Rowdy Reptiles.
"There’s an unbelievable commitment to excellence athletically and academically at UF, and it starts with the leadership of Dr. [Kent] Fuchs and Jeremy Foley. I look forward to returning to the SEC where I have a lot of great memories, and I can’t wait to create many more alongside The Gator Nation.”
White has agreed in principle to a six-year deal at an average of $2 million per year.
“Michael White is someone who came to the top of our list very quickly and he checks all of the boxes we were looking for,” Foley said. “He is a winner who has a high level of integrity, plays an up-tempo style of play and has the respect of his peers and the basketball community.
"He has experience in coaching, recruiting and playing in the Southeastern Conference and has a strong pedigree. He has a certain authenticity with people and is not afraid of challenges.”
“Coach White brings with him a distinguished career and an extraordinary record of success,” UF President Kent Fuchs said. “I have no doubt he will uphold high standards on and off the court, and am delighted to welcome him to the Gator Nation.”
Under White’s leadership, the Bulldogs have also advanced to the NIT in each of the past three seasons, including quarterfinals appearances in 2014 and 2015. In all three NIT appearances, Louisiana Tech posted a road victory against a major-conference opponent, toppling Florida State in 2013, Georgia in 2014 and Texas A&M in 2015 on their home floors.
White gets the job done in friendly confines also as he departs the Bulldogs with a 30-game home winning streak intact. He will be one of four new head coaches in the SEC next season, as Alabama, Mississippi State and Tennessee will have new bench bosses as well.
White brings to Florida a high-energy, fast-paced system that allows players to flourish. In four seasons at Louisiana Tech, the Bulldogs averaged 74.2 points, 7.4 3-pointers made, 14.0 assists, 8.4 steals, 4.9 blocked shots and 16.1 turnovers forced (seventh in the nation during that span).