Just a few days after the announcement that Phillip Fulmer would not return to his post as athletics director, Tennessee has announced a major power move. The Volunteers have hired Danny White as their next director of athletics, stealing away one of the most successful ADs in all of college sports.
White has an incredible track record with his hiring decisions, dating all the way back to his time at Buffalo from 2012-2015. He continued that work at Central Florida in 2015, restoring a football program coming off of an 0-12 season.
Earlier today, Tennessee made the official announcement.
“Danny White is an innovative leader in college athletics with a strong track record in recruiting and developing leaders. He brings the combination of winning attitude, competitive drive, and dedication to integrity and academics that we are looking for,” Chancellor Plowman said. “We undertook this search with urgency and found strong interest from a robust candidate pool, enabling us to act quickly and with great confidence. I’m proud to say we found our leader, and I’d like to thank President Boyd, our trustees, and our staff for their support and hard work.”
The Tennessee administration knew that they had to act quickly, and that’s exactly what happened. The recruiting investigation into Jeremy Pruitt dragged out over two months, which has put the program in a tough spot. However, adding a proven guy like White as the leader of this operation has put some minds at ease today.
White’s hires include basketball coaches Nate Oats and Bobby Hurley at Buffalo, along with Lance Leipold on the football side. He then went to UCF, where he turned an 0-12 program around with the hire of Scott Frost, who went undefeated just two years later. Josh Heupel, Frost’s replacement, has been able to sustain that success.
After a decade filled with unstability and frankly some flat out bad football hires, White’s track record is extremely appealing. Finally with a top-flight athletics director in place, this Tennessee job suddenly has a lot more appeal than it did 24 hours ago.
“Danny White is a great fit for the programs we are building at Tennessee,” UT System President Randy Boyd said. “He combines a strong vision for competitive excellence with a deep commitment to winning with integrity. The greatest decade in UT Athletics begins now.”