Dr. Danny White, recently ranked the fourth-best athletic director in the country by Stadium, will become the new athletic director at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Chancellor Donde Plowman announced today. His consistent record of transforming college athletic programs to win championships, drive growth, and achieve success, have made him a rising star in college athletics.
“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.”
Commenting on his appointment, White said, “I am thrilled to be headed to Knoxville and to a university with a great competitive tradition and a spirited and devoted fan base. 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.”
Winning with Integrity
White’s own record of excellence since he took over as athletic director at the University of Central Florida is extraordinary. It includes two consecutive American Athletic Conference football championships, multiple bowl appearances, and a 25-game winning streak. Beyond football, his record includes NCAA tournament appearances for the men’s and women’s basketball teams, the baseball team, and the soccer team. UCF was the only NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision program in which each of its sports produced winning records across several years. He has also been successful in raising funds to improve the quality of athletic facilities.
White grew up around college athletics and comes from a family who are all leaders in college athletics including his father, Kevin White, now vice president and athletic director at Duke University; his brother, Michael, head men’s basketball coach at the University of Florida; his brother, Brian, vice president and director of athletics at Florida Atlantic University; and his sister, Mariah, assistant athletics director for administration at SMU. White has been widely recognized for his achievements. He has been recognized as one of “40 Under 40” by Sports Business Journal as well as the Orlando Business Journal, and he was a finalist for the 2018 SBJ Athletics Director of the Year honor. In 2020, Stadium rated him as number four on the nationwide list of college athletic directors.
He has also emphasized the “student” part of student-athlete. During his tenure at UCF, teams combined for 25 consecutive semesters with a 3.0 GPA or better, and a record 253 Knights earned spots on the 2019 American Athletic Conference All-Academic Team.
“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.”
Prior to arriving at UCF in 2015, White was athletic director at the State University of New York at Buffalo from 2012to 2015. White worked with athletics administrators, coaches, and staff to transform the Bulls’ program and culture, shattering previous school records for student-athlete GPAs, NCAA Championship berths, fundraising, and football ticket sales. Prior to his position at SUNY Buffalo, he served as senior associate athletics director at University of Mississippi, assistant athletics director at California State University–Fresno, and assistant athletics director at Northern Illinois University.
White played college basketball at Towson University and the University of Notre Dame, from which he graduated in 2002. He earned master’s degrees in business administration and sports administration from Ohio University, and earned a doctorate in higher education from the University of Mississippi in 2016.