Kevin White, currently athletic director at Arizona State University, today was appointed the new athletic director at the University of Notre Dame by Rev. Edward A. Malloy, C.S.C., Notre Dame’s president. Father Malloy introduced White at a news conference in the Main Building on the Notre Dame campus.
Under the realignment of athletic administrative responsibilities announced in February by Father Malloy, White, 49, will become the first Notre Dame athletic director to report directly to the University’s president.
A career educator and one of the most respected athletic administrators in the nation, White previously has been athletic director at Tulane University, the University of Maine, and Loras College.
“Kevin White is among the elite members of his profession, with a breadth of experience and a record of accomplishment that few can match,” Father Malloy said in announcing the appointment. “Equally important, and despite the fact that he has no previous Notre Dame connection, he is one of those people with a deep personal affinity for this University and its tradition. We are delighted to make him an official member of the Notre Dame family.”
“To be sure, our family is extremely excited by this kind and generous invitation to join the most celebrated university community in the world,” White said. “Personally speaking, I am both terribly flattered and honored to be offered this very special opportunity to lead the Irish athletic program into the new millennium.”
Under White’s leadership in the last four years, Arizona State rose from #23 to #12 in the Sears Director’s Cup rankings of overall athletic success and is on track for a top 10 ranking this year. In 1998-99 the university placed three teams in the top five in the country, four in the top 10, and eight in the top 20 in their respective sports. At the same time, 233 Arizona State student-athletes earned a 3.0 or higher grade-point average.
White reorganized academic and student services for athletes, renegotiated the university’s radio contracts, built up the athletic department staff, planned the addition of two new women’s sports, hired five head coaches, and increased the athletic operating budget from $16.7 million to $26 million while at the same time turning a $3-million deficit into a $1-million-plus surplus. He also reorganized athletic fundraising and launched a $25-million capital campaign.
With a Ph.D. in education, White has taught classes every semester of his 18-year career, most recently teaching sports business in Arizona State’s MBA program. Known for his close personal ties with student-athletes, at Arizona State he established a highly successful life skills program.
At Tulane from 1991-96, White led that program to success both in competition and in the classroom. During each of his final five semesters at the university, more than 80 student-athletes earned a 3.0 or better grade-point average. The men’s basketball team, which had been wracked by a point-shaving scandal before his arrival, advanced to postseason play five times in as many years and in 1994-95 Tulane reached NCAA postseason competition in men’s and women’s basketball, women’s track and field, and men’s tennis.
At the University of Maine from 1987-91 White directed a program that was widely regarded as the most progressive in the Northeast. Maine captured conference championships and postseason bids in 1989-90 in five sports-football, baseball, hockey, women’s basketball, and golf.
White first served as athletic director at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, from 1982-87-and at the same time was the college’s vice president of student affairs and vice president for development. In his multiple roles he supervised a $15-million capital campaign, the annual fund, planned giving, alumni relations, college publications, and public relations. He also founded and was executive director of the National Catholic Basketball Tournament.
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. While at Arizona State he was chairman of the Pacific-10 Conference’s television and bowl committees.
A native of Amityville, N.Y., White earned his Ph.D. 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.
White’s wife, Jane, holds a master’s degree in physical education from Central Michigan, where she was head track and field coach. The couple have five children-Maureen, who is completing a master of fine arts degree at Arizona State, Michael, a University of Mississippi graduate and four-year starter at point guard for the Ole Miss basketball team, Daniel, a sophomore and basketball player at Towson University, Brian, and Mariah.