Danny White, who has spent the past five years as the University of Central Florida’s athletic director, was hired to serve the same role for Tennessee, the university’s chancellor Donde Plowman announced Thursday.
The hiring of White comes three days after Tennessee football coach Jeremy Pruitt was fired for cause and athletic director Phillip Fulmer announced plans to retire.
“Danny White is an innovative leader in college athletics with a strong track record in recruiting and developing leaders,” Plowman said in a university release. “He brings the combination of winning attitude, competitive drive, and dedication to integrity and academics that we are looking for.
“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 (Randy) Boyd, our trustees, and our staff for their support and hard work.”
White, meanwhile, is excited about the challenge of trying to rebuild Tennessee’s football program.
“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.”
White was ranked the fourth-best athletic director in the country, trailing Oklahoma’s Joe Castiglione, Ohio State’s Gene Smith and Wisconsin’s Barry Alvarez, by Stadium’s Jeff Goodman and Brett McMurphy in June.
Prior to his tenure at UCF, White spent three years as Buffalo’s athletic director. Through both stints, he has hired three head football coaches (Lance Leipold at Buffalo in 2014 and Scott Frost and Josh Heupel at UCF in 2015 and 2017, respectively).
Leipold is 37-33 through his first six seasons leading the Bulls, including Mid-American East Division titles in 2018 and 2020. Frost went 19-7, including an undefeated 2017 campaign in which the Golden Knights won the AAC championship game, knocked off Auburn in the Peach Bowl and finished No. 6 in the AP poll. Heupel is 28-8 in three seasons with the Golden Knights and won an AAC championship in 2018.
White has also made three men’s basketball hires — Bobby Hurley and Nate Oates at Buffalo and Johnny Dawkins at UCF — that have a combined record of 224-116 and five NCAA Tournament appearances at those schools.
White has administrative SEC experience, having served as senior associate athletics director at University of Mississippi.
The details of the transition from Fulmer to White have not been announced, but Tennessee said it plans to pay Fulmer $37,500 per month through Dec. 31, 2023, because of a two-year extension he signed in May.
“Danny White is a great fit for the programs we are building at Tennessee,” 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.”