New UT Director of Athletics Danny White’s coaching hires have proven successful

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — New University of Tennessee Director of Athletics Danny White’s record speaks to why he was chosen to lead the program.

Here are a list of some of his hirings while leading the athletic departments at the University of Central Florida and the University at Buffalo.


White took over the Knights athletic department in December 2015 after leaving Buffalo.

Scott Frost, football: Frost went 19-7 in two seasons at UCF, including an unbeaten 13-0 in 2017. The Knights beat Auburn 34-27 in the Peach Bowl and finished No. 6 in the Associated Press poll. The team claimed a national championship despite being shut out of the NCAA college football playoffs. Frost left after the season to coach at Nebraska.

Josh Heupel, football: Heupel kept the UCF football program rolling, as the Knights won a second-consecutive American Athletic Conference title-game win in 2018 and appeared in another New Year’s Six bowl game. The Knights went on to win 28 regular-season games.

Johnny Dawkins, men’s basketball: Dawkins, a Naismith Award winner and two-time consensus All-American while playing at Duke, is now in his fifth season coaching at UCF. He has led the Knights to an 86-53 and one NCAA tournament appearance during the 2018-19 season. As a No. 9 seed UCF defeated No. 8 seed VCU before losing by 1 to No. 1 seed Duke. The team is 3-5 this season.

Katie Abrahamson-Henderson, women’s basketball: Abrahamson-Henderson was named head of the women’s basketball program in April 2016. This year, the team is 7-2 and has wins over Virginia and LSU. Coach “Abe” led the program to the women’s NCAA tournament during the 2018-19 season. The No. 12-seed Knights lost their first round game against No. 5-seed Arizona State, 60-45.

Greg Lovelady, baseball: The UCF baseball program also made a turnaround after White hired Lovelady. After going 25-34 in 2016, White hired Lovelady and the Knights went 40-22 on its way to an NCAA Regional appearance. Since then, UCF has gone 35-21 in 2018 and 36-22 in 2019 with Lovelady at the helm.


White began as athletic director at Buffalo in May 2012. He spent three years there.

Lance Leipold, football: Before leaving Buffalo, White hired Leipold in 2015. The Division III national champion football coach has gone 37-33 in five seasons. 2018 was Leipold’s best year as coach of the Bulls, going 10-4.

Bobby Hurley, men’s basketball: Hurley was White’s first dip into the Duke basketball pool. Hurley led the Blue Devils to two national titles as a point guard. Hurley went 42-20 in two seasons in Buffalo before being hired by Arizona State. The Bulls made the NCAA tournament in Hurley’s second season, 2014-15.

Nate Oats, men’s basketball: Oats was another hire White made before leaving for UCF. Oats took over in 2015 and the Bulls made the NCAA tournament in three of his four seasons at the university. Oats is now at Alabama after taking over the Crimson Tide program in 2019. Alabama is currently 7-0 in SEC play, 12-3 overall, including a win over Tennessee.

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