Arizona Basketball Coaching Hot Board 2.0 – 247Sports

(Photo: Arkansas Athletics)

 

Mike White has posted 19-plus wins in five of his six seasons at Florida. White led the team to three consecutive NCAA Tournament berths from 2017-19 and was in position for a fourth in the shortened 2019-20 season. 

White has earned Coach of the Year honors in three difference conferences, garnering the award at the WAC and Conference USA while coaching Louisiana Tech and adding the SEC to that list in 2017. He is one of two coaches in the nation to win three different leagues’ Coach of the Year Award since 2004.

The Gators have played the toughest overall and hardest non-conference schedule in the SEC over White’s tenure, and the Gators still rate second among SEC teams during that period in average final KenPom rank, NCAA wins and SEC wins and third in overall wins. 

Florida has achieved that success while playing in a historically tough SEC, as the league had 15 combined NCAA bids and an average KenPom ranking in the 50s in the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons.

Florida posted a 19-12 mark in the 2019-20 season, positioned for a fifth straight 20-win season and fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament bid before its season, along with the rest of the sports world, came to a standstill on March 12, 2020.

During the campaign, White earned his 100th win as UF’s head coach, becoming the fifth Florida coach to reach that milestone. He reached the mark in 158 games, the second-fastest to reach 100 (Billy Donovan, 154).

Florida is one of 10 teams in the nation that has earned at least one victory in each of the past three NCAA Tournaments. The Gators posted three wins vs. ranked opponents during the 2018-19 campaign, topping 13th-ranked LSU in Baton Rouge and the ninth-ranked Tigers again in the SEC Tournament, along with a win over #20 and 7-seed Nevada in Des Moines to open the NCAA Tournament.

The Gators led the SEC in scoring defense, allowing 63.6 points per game, which ranked 20th in the nation. Florida also posted the SEC’s top 3-point percentage defense at .316 and No. 3 field goal percentage defense (.421) and turnover margin (+3.0).

During the 2017-18 campaign, the Gators put together one of the nation’s top collections of victories and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. UF’s six wins vs. top-25 teams during the regular season tied for most in the country, and its 10 RPI Quadrant 1 victories ranked second nationally.

White returned the Gators to the national conversation in in 2016-17, leading UF to the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight, a 27-9 record and a second-place SEC finish at 14-4. White earned an array of awards, including SEC Coach of the Year and the USBWA and NABC District Coach of the Year. He was also a semifinalist for Naismith Coach of the Year.

White’s 48 wins through his first two years rank fourth in SEC history. In posting a six-win improvement over his debut season at UF, White helped the Gators reach 27 wins for just the eighth time in school history.

In 2015-16, White matched a program record with 21 wins in his first season as head coach at Florida, leading the Gators to a five-win improvement over the previous season. Among active SEC coaches, 21 wins matches the second-most in the first season on the job.

White, the 2014-15 Conference USA Coach of the Year, came to the Gators after leading Louisiana Tech to a 101-40 record (.716) over the past four seasons, including three straight conference championships.

In four seasons at LA Tech, the Bulldogs averaged 74.2 points, 7.4 3-pointers made, 14.0 assists, 8.4 steals, 4.9 blocked shots and 16.1 turnovers forced (seventh in the nation during that span).

In addition to three straight conference championships, he coached the 2015 C-USA Player of the Year, a 2015 AP All-American, two WAC Newcomer of the Year winners, the 2014 C-USA Sixth Man of the Year, multiple All-Defensive Team nods, the 2014 C-USA Defensive Player of the Year and LA Tech’s all-time assists record-holder.

In its first two seasons after joining the C-USA in 2013, Louisiana Tech had the league’s best record, both in conference play (28-6; .824) and overall (56-17, .767). He led the Bulldogs to 16 wins vs. RPI Top-100 teams, with LA Tech finishing 54th or better in the RPI rankings each of the past four seasons.

Prior to getting his first head coaching job at Louisiana Tech, White spent seven seasons from 2004-11 on the Ole Miss coaching staff where he developed a reputation as one of the top assistant coaches in the country.

Before his stint on the Ole Miss staff, White spent four years at Jacksonville State from 2000-04, three as an assistant coach and the final season as associate head coach. During his time at the school, Jacksonville State posted the only 20-win season in its Division I history and recorded the program’s first-ever win in an Atlantic Sun conference tournament game.