Louisiana Tech names White as head coach

Michael White earned his reputation as a strong recruiter in the

South during his seven seasons as an assistant at Mississippi.

Louisiana Tech expects him to build on that as the new head

coach of a program that has produced several NBA players, from Karl

Malone to P.J. Brown, but has fallen on hard times.

The 34-year-old White was formally introduced Wednesday as

Louisiana Tech’s new coach.

”One of the major criteria we were seeking for a new leader of

our men’s program was someone with strong ties in recruiting and

especially in the South,” athletic director Bruce Van De Velde

said. ”Michael more than fulfills that quality and we are

confident he is going to bring a high-energy, passionate approach

to recruiting outstanding student-athletes to the team.”

White succeeds Kerry Rupp, who was fired after going 57-69

overall and 20-42 in the Western Athletic Conference over four

seasons.

”Never would I have dreamed that my first head coaching job

would be at such a highly thought of institution like Louisiana

Tech,” White said. ”This is a very special place and I want to do

my part in helping make it even more special.

”I know it’s going to be really busy in upcoming weeks, but I’m

ready to get my feet wet and get to work,” White said. ”It won’t

be a quick fix, but we are going to do everything we can.”

While at Ole Miss, White helped the Rebels twice finish a top

the Southeastern Conference West Division and receive four

postseason berths. In addition to his recruiting, he also coached

guards and helped develop five players that earned All-SEC honors

the past five years.

”I can’t wait to get back to recruiting this area and

especially Louisiana,” White said. ”The conferences of Ole Miss

and Tech might be different, but I plan to recruit the same types

of players and young men that we recruited there. We’re going to

recruit every possible player we can in this state, in Arkansas, in

Mississippi and the rest of the region.”

White, the son of Duke athletic director Kevin White, grew up in

New Orleans while his father was Tulane’s A.D. He played for four

years at Ole Miss, helping the Rebels win the SEC West twice and

earn three NCAA tournament appearances, along with the program’s

first victory in an NCAA tournament game.

Before returning to Ole Miss as an assistant coach, he served in

a similar role for four years at Jacksonville State, which won its

most games in Division I (20) in a single season during White’s

time there in 2002-03.