Texas steals White from powerhouse program

Alex Briseño

Texas has hired former Oregon head coach Mike White to replace Connie Clark as Longhorn head coach, announced Chris Del Conte, vice president and athletics director, Monday afternoon.

White’s decision to leave Eugene, Oregon, comes after he led the Ducks to five Women’s College World Series appearances in his nine-season campaign. White also led Oregon to five Pac-12 conference titles and at least a super regional berth in each of his nine years. 

“Why not Texas?” White said. “I believe the University of Texas has every resource available to become a national power in softball. The recruiting base in Texas is tremendous, and the plans that Chris Del Conte has for the program and facility upgrades make Texas very appealing. I think it’s the right time in my career to make a move. I still have a lot of energy and time left to make an impact, and Texas has the backing and resources to do just that.”

White arrived at the University of Oregon after the Ducks finished their 2009 season with an abysmal16–34 record. One season after White took over, the Ducks improved to 35-21 and 42-16 the following year. This trend continued until Oregon made an appearance in the Women’s College World Series — just three years intoWhite’s campaign. 

“Mike is a highly respected coach with a tremendous reputation in the softball community,” Del Conte said. “What he has accomplished in nine years at Oregon is truly special. In a short period of time, Mike took a program that had not had a great deal of success and built it into a consistent national power.”

White’s final season at Oregon concluded after a loss to the eventual national champion No. 6 Florida State. White led his team to a 53–10 overall record en route to winning the Pac-12 title. This was more than enough to give the Ducks a No. 1 national seed for their run to the College World Series.

He will now replace Clark after she concluded her 22-season career by stepping down in May after Texas’ 2018 run.

“Connie Clark did an amazing job at Texas,” White said. “I still remember going through Austin in 2012 and having a true battle to get to the Women’s College World Series. What I want to do now is take the solid foundation established by Coach Clark and build on itgoing forward.”

He won’t be taking over a team that is in quite as bad of a position as Oregon was when he took over nine seasons ago, but White said he knows he has work to do when he takes over a Texas team that has failed to reach the Women’s College World Series since 2013.

“Personally, I’m tremendously excited to be the head coach at the University of Texas,” White said. “My first goal will be to get the current players on board with our vision for Texas softball. I also need to put together a great coaching staff of people who want to grind along with me to get this program to the top.”