Dec. 30, 2002
Kevin White, who has led the University of Notre Dame athletics programs to unprecedented accomplishments in the classroom and on the field over the past three years, has received a two-year contract extension as the University’s director of athletics.
Appointed in March 2000, White originally agreed to a five-year contract that previously was extended by five years and now extends to 2012.
“Notre Dame has a long and notable athletic history, but these past several years have set new standards for success, and Kevin deserves considerable credit for that,” said Rev. Edward A. Malloy, C.S.C., the University’s president. “His passion for Notre Dame, combined with his intellect and insight, have inspired our coaches and student-athletes to new heights. I am delighted to acknowledge Kevin’s leadership with the extension of his contract.”
White, who also teaches a master’s level sports business course in the University’s Mendoza College of Business, is the first Notre Dame athletic director to report directly to the University’s president.
Among the highlights of White’s nearly three years at the helm of Irish athletics:
- Notre Dame was the only school this fall to qualify all six of its teams – men’s and women’s cross country, football, men’s and women’s soccer, and women’s volleyball – for NCAA tournament competition (or, in the case of football, a bowl game).
- The University received a 2002 USA Today/NCAA Academic Achievement Award for graduating 90 percent of its freshmen student-athletes who enrolled in 1995.
- The Irish finished 11th and 13th, respectively in the 2000-01 and 2001-02 Sears Cup all-sports ratings, matching their best back-to-back rankings in that competition. They are fourth in the current fall rankings.
Kevin White visits with coach Paul Mainieri prior to a 2002 College World Series game.
- Of the University’s 26 men’s and women’s varsity programs, 20 earned NCAA tournament berths in 2001-02.
- A record 40 Irish athletes earned All-America honors in 2001-02.
- Eight student-athletes were selected Academic All-Americans in 2001-02 – including four who also were athletic All-Americans.
- Notre Dame claimed the 2001 national championship in women’s basketball, third-place finishes in fencing in ’01 and ’02, national semifinal appearances in women’s soccer in ’00 and men’s lacrosse in ’01, and a College World Series berth in baseball in ’02.
- Four different Notre Dame teams – women’s soccer, women’s basketball, men’s fencing and baseball – were ranked No. 1 during their 2000-01 seasons, and men’s lacrosse ranked second.
- The men’s and women’s programs won the BIG EAST Conference Commissioner’s Trophy in 2001 and ’02. Last year’s all-sports title was highlighted by a record eight league championships.
Kevin White joined with Notre Dame alumni from the St. Louis area in congratulating former Notre Dame soccer player Anne Makinen, the 2000 recipient of the Missouri Athletic Club Player of the Year Award.
The successes of Irish athletic teams are due in part to several initiatives launched by White, including a plan to add 64 grants-in-aid in order to give all 26 varsity sports the full NCAA complement of scholarships; signing most of Notre Dame’s head coaches to multiyear contracts; improving the student development services to student-athletes; and commissioning a facilities master plan to upgrade the athletic physical plant.
A career educator and one of the most respected athletic administrators in the nation, White came to Notre Dame after previously serving as athletic director at Arizona State University, Tulane University, the University of Maine and Loras College.
White has served on numerous NCAA committees, including the NCAA Council, formerly the association’s highest governing body, as well as the executive committee of the Division I-A Athletic Directors Association and the Bowl Championship Series. While at Arizona State he was a member of the Pacific-10 Conference’s television and bowl committees.
A native of Amityville, N.Y., White earned his doctorate from Southern Illinois University and in 1985 completed postdoctoral work at Harvard University’s Institute for Educational Management. He earned his master’s degree in athletics administration from Central Michigan University and his bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1972 from St. Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, Ind., where he also competed as a sprinter in track and field. He was awarded St. Joseph’s Alumni Achievement Award in 1997. In May 2001, Kevin and his wife Jane were awarded honorary degrees from St. Joseph’s.