Just three days after announcing the termination of head coach Jeremy Pruitt and the retirement of director of athletics Phillip Fulmer, Tennessee has named Fulmer’s successor, University of Central Florida athletic director Danny White.
"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 Donde 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."
White served as the athletic director at UCF since 2015 where he helped turn around the Central Florida football program with the hire of Scott Frost. Under White’s tenure as AD, UCF won 27 straight games including a Peach Bowl win over Auburn.
White also hired former Duke basketball star Johnny Dawkins to take over the Knights’ basketball program in 2016. Dawkins has compiled a 67-34 record in his tenure in Orlando, including a trip to the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 2019.
Prior to his tenure at Central Florida, White served as the director of athletics at Buffalo. White made a pair of impressive basketball hires at Buffalo in now Arizona State coach Bobby Hurley and now Alabama coach Nate Oats.
The 41-year old's work at UCF and Buffalo earned him the No. 4 spot on Stadium.com's rank of the nation's best athletic directors.
"Danny White is a great fit for the programs we are building at Tennessee," University of Tennessee 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."
White attended Notre Dame where he was a member of the basketball team.
White will have to go right to work, first hiring a new football coach and then helping him navigate the Vols’ program out of the mud and the shadow of the NCAA investigation and potential sanctions.
"I am thrilled to be headed to Knoxville and to a university with a great competitive tradition and a spirited and devoted fan base," White said. "Volunteer fans have an expectation to win, and my first task will be taking on the search for a new head football coach. But I want all Vols to know that I am deeply committed to excellence in all of our athletic programs."
One would expect White to move quick in finding Pruitt’s successor due to the late date of the head coaching change and the four Tennessee players that entered the transfer portal Wednesday.
All of White's past football coach hires have been of offensive minded coaches including Lance Leipold at Buffalo who's built Buffalo into one of the MAC's best programs.
White's salary will start at $1.8 million a year with an annual increase of 5% and a chance for up to $300,000 annually in bonuses. White's salary marks a step up from the $1 million his predecessor, Phillip Fulmer, was making.