After stating earlier this week that his search for a new head coach may not be completed until “sometime in June,” Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley has found Billy Donovan’s replacement.
Michael White, who won more than 71 percent of his games in four seasons as the head coach at Louisiana Tech (101-40 record), has been hired as the new head coach at Florida. The school announced the news Thursday evening. White has experience in the SEC as both a player and a coach, as he played four years at Ole Miss and was also a member of the coaching staff for seven seasons before being hired at Louisiana Tech.
“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 in the release. “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.”
While White did not lead Louisiana Tech to an NCAA tournament during his four seasons in Ruston, he did preside over one of the most successful three-year stretches in program history. Louisiana Tech made three NIT appearances, winning regular season titles in two different conferences (WAC and Conference USA), and won 27 games or more in each of the last three seasons.
White’s teams at Louisiana Tech looked to speed things up defensively, using full-court pressure to force turnovers on 23.7 percent of their opponents’ possessions in conference play last season. He’ll have some work to do in regards to the roster, including making sure that the recruits who have signed to attend Florida remain on board, but this is a step many believed White capable of making after his success at Louisiana Tech.
A native of Dunedin, Florida, White has plenty of connections throughout the state and region, and that will help recruiting-wise moving forward. According to the school, White has agreed to a six-year deal that will pay him a base salary of $2 million per season.