Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Sports

UCF hires Danny White, brother of UF basketball coach, as athletic director

ORLANDO — UCF turned to a young voice to lead its athletic department, hiring Danny White, 36, as athletic director on Wednesday.

The Buffalo AD since 2012 is scheduled to be introduced at a news conference today.

A 2002 graduate of Notre Dame, White is the son of Duke athletic director Kevin White and the younger brother of first-year Gators basketball coach Michael White.

UCF president John Hitt said White's youth and energy would be a value.

"Danny is one of the nation's rising stars in college athletics, and his talent, determination, energy, and creativity will guide our program to a bright future," Hitt said in a statement. "He understands that success starts with winning with integrity and student-athletes thriving in the classroom, and he has a history of hiring successful coaches."

Under White, Buffalo has seen major improvements to its facilities, including an upgraded football center in 2013 and a face-lift to the basketball facilities for the men's and women's teams.

White was an associate athletic director at Mississippi from 2009-12 and held a similar role at Fresno State from 2007-09.

"My goals include building on our outstanding academic accomplishments and making UCF a national leader known for competitive excellence," White said in a statement. "We will become one of the nation's premier destinations for coaches and student-athletes, and we will excite our student body, staff and faculty, alumni and the central Florida community."

The hire ends a short national search, which began after former football coach and interim AD George O'Leary gave up that role on Oct. 12. O'Leary then retired as coach on Oct. 25. Full-time AD Todd Stansbury left on June 18.

O'Leary assumed the position on June 25.

UCF SHOWs IMPROVEMENT: The Knights (0-10) enter tonight's home game against East Carolina with an improving ground game, which has rushed for more than 300 yards in the past two contests against Cincinnati and Tulsa.

But interim coach Danny Barrett said he's also expecting good things from junior quarterback Justin Holman, who is said to be 100 percent after undergoing surgery on his throwing hand in September.

"I think he's probably at his best that he's been all year from a physical standpoint," Barrett said. "I know he'd been battling through that hand injury, wear the glove, without the glove, but the last week he's really been sharp as far as physically. Mentally, now he just needs to continue to do the things we've asked him to do. Be a leader, let the game plan and the young guys work itself out and not try to do too much. So I feel very confident in where he's at."

As for motivation, defensive back Cedric Thompson said: "We want to win the game for ourselves, but to knock someone out of bowl contention or keep someone from punching a bowl bid, that would be a goal for us. We're looking for a way to win the game and any type of motivation that can serve as a positive reinforcement for us."

STANFORD: Ronnie Harris, the Cardinal's top cornerback, will miss Saturday's game against Cal due to an injured ankle. Coach David Shaw is hopeful that the fifth-year senior can return next week against Notre Dame. Redshirt freshman Alameen Murphy will make his third career start.

USC: The Trojans likely will be without running back Tre Madden (sore knee) and safety Leon McQuay (torn knee ligament) for Saturday's game at Oregon. Interim coach Clay Helton hopes Madden and McQuay will be available for the regular-season finale against UCLA on Nov. 28.

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