Louisiana Tech’s Michael White primary candidate to replace Billy Donovan with Florida Gators

By Adam Silverstein
May 7, 2015

A source confirmed to OnlyGators.com on Thursday that Louisiana Tech Bulldogs head coach Michael White has emerged as a legitimate candidate to replace Billy Donovan with the Florida Gators. This is at the same time as Yahoo! Sports reported that White is the “leading candidate” to replace Donovan.

According to Yahoo! Sports, White and Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley may meet “as soon as” Thursday.

White, a veteran assistant who spent four seasons at Jacksonville State (2000-04) and seven at Ole Miss (2004-11) before getting his first head coaching gig with Louisiana Tech, has gathered a 101-40 (.716) record with the Bulldogs in four seasons. He has led Louisiana Tech to three straight league titles, all of which have resulted in NIT berths as the program fell in the WAC (2013) and Conference USA (2014-15) league tournaments.

White, the son of Duke AD Kevin White, turned down Tennessee and Missouri for their coaching jobs one year ago and was believed to be a candidate for the Alabama position that went to Avery Johnson.

A Florida native who played for Ole Miss – leading the Rebels to two SEC West division titles and three NCAA Tournament berths – and had a short career overseas, he currently has Louisiana Tech on a home winning streak dating back to Dec. 2013 – the fourth-longest active streak in the nation.

White, 38, is considered one of the brightest young coaches in college basketball and a strong recruiter in the South. As such, after interest last offseason from other programs, the Bulldogs signed him to a six-year, $3.6 million contract extension.

Not yet tested as a head coach at the major-conference level, White has also never participated in the NCAA Tournament in that role, though he did take Louisiana Tech to the NIT Quarterfinals in each of the last two seasons.

Foley, as it turns out, beat out Kevin White – then Notre Dame’s AD – for the services of head football coach Urban Meyer back in 2005. He may now hire White’s son as his head basketball coach.

OnlyGators.com will update this story with additional details.


  1. Josh says:

    Well, it was a nice 15 year run we had in basketball……. I would have rather seen Pelphrey or Grant…
    White has never made coached in the tournament and was passed over by Alabama a month ago…. Alabama

    Uf is a great hoops job…. Foley is just mailing it in.

  2. Tractorr says:

    Real smart move, hire the son of the Duke AD. If he is any good then he gets hired by Duke when Coach K retires.

  3. g8ter27 says:

    I agree Josh. Why was Grant the right guy for the job in 2007 after Billy’s brief departure but not good enough now?

    • senuod says:

      That’s pretty clear. Alabama.

      It can be said that wasn’t the right atmosphere or opportunity for Grant, but it still happened. Grant and Pelphrey are both good coaches, but their last forays into head coaching were not confidence inspiring.

    • Adam says:

      Are you serious??

      I think the difference is pretty obvious. In 2007 Grant was the hot young coach out of VCU. In 2015 he is the guy that was hired based on those seasons at VCU only to crash and burn epicly at Bama. How is this hard to understand?

      If anything White is a lot like that guys from 2007 you mentioned.

    • SW FL Joe says:

      My impression was Billy was pushing hard for Pelphrey not Grant. Must be a reason why Billy would want one to take over rather that the other.

  4. scroud says:

    Maybe he’s playing the long game. If Durant leaves after next year and OKC tanks, chances are BD will be there for three years max. By that time the new coach here will either be in the final four or be receiving death threats.
    It might all work out in the end.

  5. Michael Jones says:

    The reporting is really good, but the comments posted on this site continue to be predictably and nauseatingly whiny. I’m a Gator, as in ALUM with a DEGREE, but it isn’t hard to figure out why the rest of the nation can’t stand us. I can’t stand us about half the time myself.

    It looks like it would be a great hire to me, sour pusses. Sorry to rain on your “the glass is always half empty” parade. Must suck being you.

    And don’t tell me how you are entitled to your opinion. I know you are. So am I. This is mine.

    • JayV says:

      I need to buy you a beer because
      A) We share this feeling.
      B) Seems like you really need one.

  6. Josh says:

    Big difference between the job that UF was when Billy was hired vs. the job that UF is now…

    You don’t hand a top 5 (results) basketball program (since 2000) to a guy who has never coached in the tourney.

    Uf should be able to do better

    • Dan says:

      FWIW I think replacing a legend is tough. Nobody wants to be “the next guy” after a guy like Donovan.

      • Ken (CA) says:

        Yup. I firmly believe that is exactly why we ended up with Zook, a guy that Spurrier demoted as a coach.

  7. gatorboi352 says: