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Florida Gators head coach Mike White accomplished in two seasons what it took his predecessor 15 seasons to achieve. On Tuesday, White was named the 2017 SEC Coach of the Year.
White has turned around the Gators this season, leading a team that missed the NCAA Tournament in back-to-back campaigns to a likely top-four seed in this year’s event. Florida at 24-7 (14-4 SEC) battled with Kentucky down the stretch but fell short of the SEC title; nevertheless, it will begin the 2017 SEC Tournament on Friday as the No. 2 seed.
Not only has White helped turn around a Gators program that had struggled over the last two seasons, he’s done so as the replacement for a future Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame coach in Billy Donovan, who was passed over for SEC Coach of the Year honors far too often before earning his first award in 2011.
The 24 regular-season wins by UF hoops is the third-most in program history, and White accomplished that feat despite the team playing nearly its entire nonconference schedule away from home due to renovations to the Stephen C. O’Connell Center.
White is currently in the second year of a six-year, $12 million deal with Florida. Don’t be surprised to see an extension and raise coming for the 40-year-old coach in the near future.