Florida’s last head coaching search involved a stalemate, an insanely high $7 million buyout- $2 million of which will be paid with a football game- and a general feeling of anxiety that the deal would not get done.
This one was much easier.
Florida has hired Michael White as its new head basketball coach to replace Billy Donovan. White comes from Louisiana Tech, where his teams have won 27 games or more in each of the last three seasons, and won three straight conference championships (the last two in C-USA and the first one in the WAC. Those three successful seasons come after a transitional 18-16 record in his first year at LT, 2011-12. Before coaching the Bulldogs, White served as an assistant at Mississippi for eight years.
According to several reports, White plans to bring along assistants from Louisiana Tech. This means that current Florida assistants, most notably Anthony Grant and John Pelphrey, appear to be out of a job.
I was too busy during finals week to post my extensive list of potential replacements, but White was #4 on it (after Gregg Marshall, Chris Mack and Archie Miller.) He’s a few years older than Donovan was when he was hired (38) and has some good experience at LT. He never turned the Bulldogs into a mid major powerhouse like Wichita State, Xavier and Dayton, but he did a much better job than he was expected to do. And being an overachiever is exactly what Jeremy Foley likes to see when he’s hiring a new coach.
I’ll talk about him in depth more soon, but for now, know this: it could be a fantastic hire, and it could be a bust. But when in doubt, I tend to trust Jeremy Foley’s judgment, because other than Will Muschamp and Ron Zook, every hire he’s made so far has been a success.