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.