Tennessee hires Danny White as athletics director: 5 things to know about Vols' new hire
Tennessee hired UCF athletics director Danny White as the replacement to Phillip Fulmer, UT Chancellor Donde Plowman told Knox News on Thursday
Tennessee Chancellor Donde Plowman will introduce White during a press conference Friday starting 12:05 p.m. This page will be updated with the stream below.
Here are five things to know about White:
HOT BOARD 2.0: Top targets for Vols football with Danny White as AD
NO BOOSTER MEDDLING: How UT moved swiftly, quietly to land Danny White
Plowman said she wanted to hire someone who has been an AD for at least one school, if not two, and who has experience hiring coaches.
She nailed it.
White was the athletics director at Buffalo from 2012-15 and has been at UCF since. He has made home-run hire after home-run hire over the past eight years.
White hired basketball coaches Bobby Hurley and Nate Oats at Buffalo. Hurley is now at Arizona State and Oats has Alabama rolling. He also hired football coach Lance Leipold, who has Buffalo football established as a premier MAC program.
He hired Scott Frost at UCF, which led to major results before Frost was hired at Nebraska. Frost went 19–7 in two seasons, including an unbeaten season in 2017 two years after UCF went winless. Then he hired Josh Heupel, who is 28–8 in three seasons.
He also hired basketball coach Johnny Dawkins, who is 86–53 in his fifth season. Dawkins led UCF to an NCAA Tournament berth in 2019 with a 24–9 mark.
UCF football self-claimed the national title in 2017 after it went 13-0, including a 34-27 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl win over Auburn. Auburn beat both Alabama and Georgia, which played for the College Football Playoff national title that season.
White pushed UCF's claim that it was a national champion for the season.
“Hopefully in the coming days, a lot more people will become believers, as well,” White said on the Dan Le Batard Show. “We’re going to continue to promote the fact that we feel like we’re deserving of a national championship.”
White signed a five-year contract in March 2020 that pays him an annual salary of $1,081,500, making him the highest paid AD at a public school in the state of Florida, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
White's buyout for leaving before May 11, 2021, is $2.5 million.
ADs in the family
White is from a family of athletics directors. His father, Kevin, is the AD at Duke. His brother, Brian, is the athletics director at Florida Atlantic, and his sister, Mariah Chappell, is an assistant AD at SMU.
His oldest brother, Mike, is the basketball coach at Florida.
Sour ending with Hurley
In 2015, in White's final year at Buffalo, Hurley accused White of mishandling his contract situation and alienating him after the NCAA Tournament, according to the Buffalo News.
According to the report, White leaked a story that suggested he and Hurley had agreed on a contract extension, even though "it was quite the opposite."
Hurley, who took the Arizona State job shortly after the incident, said he was being pressured into the agreement at a time when he was also looking for better pay for his assistants. Hurley also said White forced him to handle his own contract negotiations, instead of bringing in an agent.
The incident was part of an otherwise successful run at Buffalo, which has been somewhat of a breeding ground for coaches and ADs.
White was the AD from May 2012 through December 2015. Hurley and Oats both were highly successful at Buffalo to set up their next jobs. Auburn athletics director Allen Greene was White's successor at Buffalo.
Mike Wilsoncovers University of Tennessee athletics. Email him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @ByMikeWilson. If you enjoy Mike’s coverage, consider a digital subscription that will allow you access to all of it.