Mike White has been announced as the next head basketball coach for the University of Georgia Bulldogs. White is making an unprecedented move going directly to a rival while still under contract for the other school. However, White was more likely than not going to be fired by the University of Florida. White leaves Florida with a career record of 243-128. While at Florida, he was 142-88.
Mike White at Florida
In his seven seasons at the helm for the Gators, White went to an Elite Eight, had three second-round exits, and missed the tournament entirely three times. White has yet to win an SEC Championship, either regular season or tournament. White’s second season had him making the elite eight, and since then has not made it to the Sweet Sixteen. He has also failed to win 20 games each of the past three seasons.
Georgia Under Creen
Georgia, on the other hand, is coming off of four seasons under Tom Creen. Under Creen’s leadership, the Bulldogs had a 47-75 record and failed to make the NCAA Tournament all four years. Creen’s highest winning percentage was 2020-21, where they went 14-12, a 53.85% winning percentage.
The peak for games won was 2019-20, achieving a record of 16-16. Mike White will most certainly be an upgrade for Georgia over Creen. However, he has failed once in the SEC, and will most likely do so again.
Florida will look to begin their coaching search immediately. Florida was more likely than not going to fire Mike White now that the season was over and they officially missed the NCAA Tournament. White voluntarily going to Georgia saves them from an $8 million buyout, which will help them in their pursuit of their next coach. Florida will have various avenues to pursue in terms of coaching candidates, including many that are still playing in the tournament.
Georgia makes the first move in the coaching carousel and gets their guy, and he can start recruiting for them immediately. Florida currently has the 26th ranked recruiting class according to On3Sports, including two highly regarded 4-stars and a 3-star. Both 4-stars are listed as power forwards. Time will tell whether they flip their commitment given the change in leadership for the Gators.