Girls basketball: Northeast coach Will White to step down at season's end
Northeast girls basketball coach Will White said he is stepping down at the end of the season to spend more time with his family.
In 2010, White’s wife, Heidi, was involved in a serious accident and suffered a traumatic brain injury that requires White to be at home more often.
White planned to make the announcement at the end of the season, but let the news “slip” and decided to tell his players this past week.
“My wife has been ill and I've been trying to hold it all together and balance being a husband, a dad, a teacher and a coach,” White said. “I just didn't think I could do all of those things and be able to help my wife like she needed. As the season got into full swing my heart kept telling me I needed to be home with my wife, so I made up my mind that this would be the last year. Then, during a game last week, I just sort of let it slip with my team.
“I honestly planned to retire after a long career as the head girls coach at Northeast High School but my family needs just wouldn't allow that to happen.”
White will still teach social studies at the school. His team currently is 4-4.
This is White’s second job coaching girls basketball in the county. For eight seasons (2002-11) he coached at Boca Ciega, compiling a 193-45 record with six district championships and seven straight 20-win seasons. He also kept intact the Pirates' streak of making the playoffs for 19 seasons, the third-longest streak in the state at the time. In three of his final four seasons, White led Boca Ciega to the state final four.
After stepping down in 2011, White took a four-month hiatus before taking over the Vikings. He inherited a Northeast program that averaged seven win per season during its existence and made the playoffs just once in 1986.
In the past four seasons, Northeast has averaged 17 wins a year under White. He also led the Vikings to two district final appearances and set the school records for wins in a season last year with 24.
White is second all-time in wins at Boca Ciega (193) and Northeast (73).
“I think some people think, because it happened sort of 'fast' at Bogie as well, that they were both rash decisions,” White said. “But I can assure you that both decisions took a lot of personal reflection and time. I was lucky that after I stepped down at Bogie that a job opened up so close to my house, which allowed me to continue to coach, but my wife's subsequent accident just won't allow me the time it takes to be a coach.”
White’s departure means Northeast will be looking for two basketball coaches. Dave Redding, who has coached Northeast’s boys for 36 years, also is stepping down at the end of the season because he is in the final year of the DROP, a lucrative retirement program for teachers.