March 24, 2013
RUSTON, La. - Louisiana Tech Athletics Director Bruce Van De Velde announced today that men's basketball head coach Michael White has agreed to a contract extension pending approval from the University of Louisiana System's Board of Supervisors.
"I'd like to thank Dr. Reneau, Dr. Guice and Bruce Van De Velde for their outstanding support and their unwavering commitment to the continued advancement of our basketball program," said White. "I am extremely excited about the future of Bulldog Basketball and believe that a strong foundation has been laid. We hope to build upon that foundation, and I ask that our fans and the Ruston community continue to rally around our student-athletes going forward."
Coach White has led the Bulldog basketball program to extraordinary new heights since being named the 17th head coach of Louisiana Tech just two years ago. Length and terms of the contract extension will not be released until after it's been approved by the University of Louisiana System's Board of Supervisors.
After posting a six-win improvement in his first year with an 18-16 record and leading LA Tech to its first WAC Tournament final since joining the league in 2001, White has exceeded expectations in his second year as well.
"From his first day on campus, Coach White has committed himself to building this program into one that competes at the highest level and consistently contends for championships," said Van De Velde. "His commitment to his players, his coaches, and his program is a testament to his character as a person and his integrity and leadership as a coach."
White's Bulldogs began the 2012-13 season with an 8-3 mark before reeling off a streak to remember from late December to early March - an 18 game winning stretch that was the second longest streak in NCAA Division I and also the program's longest streak in its 84-year history.
"I am thrilled that Coach White will remain with the Louisiana Tech family and will continue to grow and elevate our men's basketball program," said Louisiana Tech President Dan Reneau. "He has a clear vision for the future and has proven himself to be an outstanding leader and representative of Louisiana Tech, both on and off the court. I feel very good about the direction of the Bulldog basketball program under Mike's leadership, and believe our best days are ahead of us."
The team rounded out the season with a 26-5 record, tied for the sixth best win-loss percentage in the country, and a 16-2 mark in the Western Athletic Conference which earned the `Dogs its first ever WAC regular season championship and its first ever No. 1 seed in the WAC Tournament.
"The excitement that surrounds the Bulldog basketball program and the success it has had under Coach White has absolutely energized Louisiana Tech fans and alums across the country," said Dr. Les Guice, president-elect of Louisiana Tech. "With Coach White's continued leadership, the future is bright for our men's basketball program and I'm looking forward to working with him and supporting his vision and efforts."
White was rewarded by the league for his efforts as the Don Haskins WAC Coach of the Year, the first Bulldog coach to receive the honor, and by the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) as the District VII Coach of the Year.
The 36-year old currently has his Bulldogs in the second round of the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) after upsetting No. 4 seed Florida State in Tallahassee, Fla. The win over the Seminoles is only the program's second win ever over a current ACC school.
White has accumulated an overall record of 45-22 which is the most combined wins in the first two seasons of any head coach in LA Tech history.