KNOXVILLE — The University of Tennessee's search for a new men's basketball coach to replace the departed Cuonzo Martin has turned its focus to Louisiana Tech coach Michael White, according to a report from CBS Sports.
The Saturday night report by Gary Parrish cited multiple anonymous sources.
The 37-year-old White, a former Ole Miss point guard from Florida who spent seven years as an assistant coach with the Rebels, just finished his third season with the Bulldogs. They lost in the 2014 Conference USA tournament title game to Tulsa after sharing the league's regular-season crown with the Golden Hurricane, Southern Mississippi and Middle Tennessee State.
In three seasons in Ruston, La., White has compiled a 74-31 record, and Louisiana Tech is 56-15 with National Invitation Tournament appearances the past two seasons. The Bulldogs split the Western Athletic Conference regular-season title with Denver last season and lost to Texas-San Antonio in the WAC tournament.
According to Louisiana Tech's official athletic website, White has used a "pressuring man-to-man defense and fast-paced, dribble-drive offense" to turn around a program that had losing seasons in five of the six before his arrival and last reached the NCAA tournament in 1991.
White's father, Kevin, is the athletic director at Duke.
He agreed a little more than two weeks ago to a contract extension with Louisiana Tech, which earlier this month hired Tyler Summitt, the son of legendary Tennessee women's coach emeritus Pat Summitt.
According to the Shreveport Times, the extension bumped White's salary to $600,000 and included a $600,000 buyout.
After three seasons and an NCAA tournament run to the Sweet 16 this season, Martin left the Vols to take the job at California this past week, and for terminating his contract early, Martin and Cal owe Tennessee $1.3 million.
Contact Patrick Brown at email@example.com.
Patrick Brown has been the University of Tennessee beat writer since January 2011. A native of Memphis, Brown graduated from UT in May of 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism/Electronic Media and worked at the Knoxville News Sentinel for two years on the sports editorial staff and as a freelance contributor. If it’s the NBA, the NFL or SEC football and basketball, he’s probably reading about it or watching it on TV. Contact him ...