Florida hires Michael White

The Gators didn’t waste time finding a new men’s basketball coach.

Florida officially announced Michael White as the program’s new men’s basketball coach on Thursday night.

White previously served as the head coach at Louisiana Tech and went 101-40 in four seasons. The 38-year-old was named 2014-15 Conference USA Coach of the Year and won three straight conference championships. The Dunedin, Fla. native was previously an assistant coach at Ole Miss for seven seasons and a four-year starter for the Rebels during his college career.

White received a six-year contract, averaging $2 million annually.

“I have an incredible amount of respect for the University of Florida, and I am so excited to be a Gator,” White said. “Not only is Florida home for me, but the tradition and success that the Gators have built make this an incredible opportunity. I know about the great home court advantage in the O’Connell Center, which is a testament to the fans and the Rowdy Reptiles.

“There’s an unbelievable commitment to excellence athletically and academically at UF, and it starts with the leadership of Dr. Fuchs and Jeremy Foley. I look forward to returning to the SEC where I have a lot of great memories, and I can’t wait to create many more alongside The Gator Nation.”

Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley said Monday he would meet with his staff that afternoon to begin looking into candidates. They moved quickly and White was always a target they wanted. ESPN reported that Foley never spoke with Dayton coach Archie Miller or Xavier coach Chris Mack, both rumored to be involved in the search.

“Michael White is someone who came to the top of our list very quickly and he checks all of the boxes we were looking for,” Foley said. “He is a winner who has a high level of integrity, plays an up-tempo style of play and has the respect of his peers and the basketball community. He has experience in coaching, recruiting and playing in the Southeastern Conference and has a strong pedigree. He has a certain authenticity with people and is not afraid of challenges.”

Florida president Kent Fuchs added, “Coach White brings with him a distinguished career and an extraordinary record of success. I have no doubt he will uphold high standards on and off the court, and am delighted to welcome him to the Gator Nation.”

The Gators are planning a Monday press conference to introduce White.

At Louisiana Tech, White used an up-tempo offense that helped the Bulldogs average 74.2 points, 7.4 three-pointers made, 14.0 assists, 8.4 steals, 4.9 blocked shots and 16.1 turnovers forced (seventh in the nation during that span). They led the league in either field goals made or three-point field goals made in all four seasons under White. They played in the NIT the last three seasons.

Since Louisiana Tech joined Conference USA in 2013, the Bulldogs have the league's best record in conference play (28-6) and overall (56-17). White has also heavily recruited the state of Florida and had five players from Florida on his roster last season.

Before starting his coaching career as an assistant at Ole MIss in 2004, White worked as the associate head coach at Jacksonville State from 2000-04. His wife, Kira, also graduated from Ole Miss and has a law degree. They have five children -- two daughters and three sons.

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