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Farewell Coach White

May 14, 2015

 

JARED KING  

KING

KING

Sports Editor

 

Last week former Louisiana Tech men’s basketball head coach Mike White announced he would be leaving the program to accept the same position at the University of Florida.

 

Never in a million years would I have guessed Scott Brooks being fired from the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder would result in White leaving Tech.

 

But when Brooks was fired, Billy Donovan was tabbed as his replacement and that opened a premiere coaching position for White to fill.

 

It is hard not to cheer for White because he is such a great person and I can assure you White’s presence will be missed at Tech. He changed the culture of men’s basketball at Tech and I thank him for that.

 

White may not have made the NCAA tournament during his tenure at Tech, but watching a winning team play games in front of 4,000-plus fans every night was certainly more fun — and did more for the program — than watching a sub-.500 team lose games in front of 1,000 fans each night.

 

And you can thank White for that change.

 

White was not a heralded coaching candidate but he brought an aggressive defense and fast-paced offense that quickly won fans over and his players enjoyed playing for him.

 

White won 101 games during his tenure at Tech and lost only 40 — 16 of those losses came during his first season. He also took Tech to the postseason in three consecutive seasons earning berths in the NIT tournament each of the past three years. The Bulldogs won two regular season co-championships before winning last season’s Conference USA regular season championship outright.

 

By all accounts, White’s tenure at Tech was a success and I wish him the best of luck in the future. I am not an SEC fan, but you can be sure I am now a fan of Florida Gators basketball.

 

Replacing White will be difficult to do. He was a fan favorite and he was a winner — two things many Tech basketball fans are not accustomed to.

 

I hear there is a long-time assistant coach of White’s who is still in Ruston and would be interested in the job. Let’s see if he gets a nod.

 

Jared King is a senior journalism major from Jena who serves as sports editor for The Tech Talk. Email comments to jki008@latech.edu.

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