Michael White to Return to Ole Miss as Assistant Coach

June 10, 2004

OXFORD, Miss. - Ole Miss head basketball coach Rod Barnes announced Thursday he has recommended the hiring of former Rebel standout and Jacksonville State assistant Michael White for the position of assistant coach. The appointment is pending approval of the Board of Trustees, State Institutions of Higher Learning.

"We're excited to have Michael back," Barnes said. "He was a big part of building the foundation for this program, and he'll be a major asset in helping us get it back to where it was."

A point guard for the Rebels from 1995-99, White entered the starting lineup in the eighth game of this true freshman season and missed only one start at the point the remainder of his four years in the Red and Blue.

Over that span, he helped guide Ole Miss to one of the most successful stints in the program's history, earning consecutive SEC Western Division titles, three straight NCAA Tournament berths and the Rebels' first ever Tournament win in 1999.

White led the squad in assists all four years and ranks fifth on the Ole Miss career assist list with 370. He was a two-time SEC Academic Honor Roll selection and a member of the 1999 SEC Good Works Team.

Following his collegiate career, White divided the 1999-2000 season playing professionally for the IBL's New Mexico Slam and overseas in England before returning to Ole Miss in spring 2000 to complete his B.A. in Business.

White has spent the last four years on Mike LaPlante's Jacksonville State staff, single-handedly coordinating the Gamecocks' recruiting efforts the past three seasons. His time in Jacksonville, Ala., included the school's first-ever conference tournament victory in 2002-03 en route to JSU's first 20-win campaign in almost a decade. He was promoted to associate head coach prior to last season.

"With Michael and Tracy (Dildy), we feel we've added two strong recruiters to our staff this offseason," Barnes said. "Michael brings a lot of energy, enthusiasm and loyalty to me and this program. It will be an easy adjustment for him, because he knows the Ole Miss family."

Grant Pate, who has been with the Rebel program the past five years and served as an assistant coach the last two seasons, takes over as Ole Miss' Coordinator of Basketball Operations. The Coordinator of Operations position had been occupied the past two years by Jay Bowen, who recently accepted the head coaching post at Lafayette High School.

White is the second new assistant coach on the Rebel staff this summer, along with Dildy, a former Auburn and DePaul assistant who arrived in Oxford in April. With the Blue Demons, Dildy assembled the nation's No. 1 recruiting class in 2001 and the country's second-best in 1999.

A full interview with Barnes and White will be available online at www.olemisssports.tv on Friday.

 

 

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