RUSTON – Louisiana Tech University and head men’s basketball coach Michael White have agreed in principle to a six-year, $3.6 million contract extension, according to Athletics Director Tommy McClelland.
The new long-term contract extension is pending the approval from the University of Louisiana System's Board of Supervisors.
“The level of excitement for Louisiana Tech men's basketball is at an all-time high,” said McClelland. “Maintaining this momentum is extremely important as we continue to reach new heights on the court. Mike White is at the center of this movement. He and his staff have done such a tremendous job over the past three seasons, and we look forward to what the future holds.”
White has re-energized the basketball program and the fan base both locally and nationally with multiple conference championships and postseason appearances in just three years at the helm.
“Mike’s contributions to and leadership of our men’s basketball program and our student-athletes has been nothing short of exceptional,” said Tech President Les Guice. “He has always represented Louisiana Tech with the utmost class and integrity, and has elevated our program to one of national standing. We are excited to know that he and his family will remain a part of the Tech Family for years to come.”
White’s Bulldogs just completed an impressive 2013-14 season that saw the team post an overall record of 29-8, tying for the most victories ever in a single season in program history.
With the 29 wins came a share of the Conference USA regular season title in the school’s first year in the league and a runner-up finish in the C-USA Tournament.
LA Tech also registered wins over Big 12 second place finisher Oklahoma and SEC second place finisher Georgia and was one victory shy of reaching the National Invitation Tournament Final Four.
“Dr. Les Guice has made an unwavering commitment to athletic excellence here at Louisiana Tech, and Tommy McClelland has spearheaded the effort to provide our athletic programs with the necessary resources to be successful,” White said. “With their continued support, along with a renewed energy from the Bulldog fan base and student groups, we couldn't be more excited about the future of Bulldog Basketball.”
On five different occasions, the Bulldogs received points in one of the two Top 25 national polls. The team also won the inaugural Gulf Coast Showcase tournament and finished in the top 20 nationally in scoring offense, scoring margin, assists per game, steals per game and turnover margin.
All of this came a year after White guided the ‘Dogs to an incredible 27-7 record in 2012-13 which included a program-record setting 18-game winning streak that was also the second longest streak in NCAA Division I.
LA Tech made more history that season by earning a Western Athletic Conference regular season championship for the first time and the school’s first AP Top 25 ranking in 28 years.
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.
After becoming the 17th head coach at Louisiana Tech, White was one of the youngest head coaches in the country and took the eighth youngest team in the country to an 18-16 record in 2011-12 and the school’s first WAC Tournament final appearance after upsetting perennial powers Utah State and Nevada.
He was recently named as one of 15 finalists for the Skip Prosser Award, given to a head coach who not only achieves success on the basketball court but who also displays moral integrity off of it.
The New Orleans, La. native has accumulated a 74-31 record. At the 100-game mark, White had the highest winning percentage and the most wins of any coach in LA Tech history.