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White Named Director of Athletics

Daniel J. “Danny” White has been named the new director of UB’s Division of Athletics. 

A rising star in intercollegiate athletics, the former Notre Dame basketball player and New Orleans native has quickly ascended the ranks of college athletics leadership.

His many accomplishments include notable success in raising funds for programs at major universities, including the University of Mississippi and California State University-Fresno, and coaching and serving as an administrator at Mid-American Conference (MAC) members Ohio University and Northern Illinois University. At Ohio, he helped lead the men’s basketball team to a MAC championship and an NCAA tournament berth.

White currently serves as senior associate athletic director at the University of Mississippi. Since 2009, he also has served Ole Miss as the executive director of the UMAA Foundation, leading the organization to consecutive record-breaking years, raising $17.1 million in 2010 and $17.5 million in 2011.

“Danny has an impressive and very well-rounded athletic portfolio—he clearly knows the world of intercollegiate athletics from nearly every vantage point,” said Tripathi. “What’s more, he has a keen recognition of UB’s great potential—and what it will take to realize this promise as we continue our institutional pursuit of excellence.

“Over the years, we have steadily been building a nationally competitive Division I program dedicated to the pursuit of academic and athletic excellence. With this national search, we set out to find a leader who would continue this upward momentum and take it to the next level—a leader who will help advance UB’s mission of excellence by ensuring that our intercollegiate athletics programs compete among the best in the nation,” Tripathi said. “I am delighted to say that we have found exactly this individual in Danny White.” 

As UB’s athletic director, White will lead the only full Division I athletics program in the SUNY system, heading up a department that offers 20 intercollegiate sports and has more than 500 student-athletes. He will report directly to Tripathi and serve on the senior leadership team.

His hiring comes at a time when UB’s athletics programs are making tremendous strides. The Bulls have won conference championships in the past four years in football, men’s basketball, women’s rowing, men’s swimming, and men’s and women’s tennis. UB’s student-athletes also consistently earn conference-wide and national recognition for their academic achievements, including Academic All-MAC honors and NCAA recognition.

White comes from a family deeply involved in intercollegiate athletics. His father, Kevin, is director of athletics at Duke. His brother Michael is head men’s basketball coach at Louisiana Tech. His brother Brian is a senior account executive for Razorback Sports Properties at the University of Arkansas.

“I am thrilled to serve as director of athletics at such a world-class institution,” White said. “I am excited about the vision of excellence UB is pursuing under President Tripathi’s leadership and I am energized by the prospect of helping to advance that vision by leading the next chapter of UB Athletics.

“Everything I have learned about this opportunity gives me great confidence in the future,” he said. “It’s especially encouraging to see how clearly the Western New York community embraces UB’s athletic department. I look forward to working hand in hand with the community to help us create something special as we build on all of the great work that's been done here.”  

Francis M. Letro, a UB Law School alumnus who co-chaired the search committee, said White will be a tremendous asset to UB and the Buffalo community. “Our search process drew a very strong, deep pool of applicants from across the country, which I see as recognition of UB’s growing national reputation, both academically and in athletics,” Letro said. “Danny White clearly emerged as a true leader among leaders.”

Dennis R. Black, vice president for university life and services, who served as the other co-chair of the search committee, said White brings the energy, experience and leadership skills that will serve UB and its student-athletes well as the university strives to reach even greater excellence. 

“Danny sets a superb example for our students,” Black said. “He has earned post-graduate degrees and is working on his doctorate, as well as achieving success on the basketball court and in his chosen profession. Danny, his wife, Shawn, and their family will be wonderful members of the UB community and we are looking forward to their arrival.”

From 2007-09, White was the associate athletics director for development at California State University-Fresno. He managed the Bulldog Foundation and raised $7 million annually for Fresno State athletics. He cultivated and solicited the three largest major gifts in the history of the school’s athletics program.

In addition to his development duties, White also coordinated Fresno’s football scheduling and supervised the men’s and women’s golf programs.

As assistant athletics director for development at Northern Illinois University from 2006-07, he managed the Huskie Athletic Scholarship Fund and increased membership by 30 percent. He also contributed to the completion of private funding for the $14 million Academic and Athletic Performance Center.

White began his career in athletic administration in 2005 as a development associate for the UMAA Foundation at Mississippi. He assisted in the coordination of a $10 million annual fund.

A collegiate basketball player at both Towson University and the University of Notre Dame, White was director of basketball operations for men’s basketball at Ohio University for the 2003-04 season, before being promoted to assistant men’s basketball coach for the 2004-05 campaign. 

He is a 2002 graduate of Notre Dame with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He earned master’s degrees in both business administration and sports administration from Ohio University, and recently completed the coursework for a doctorate in higher education from Mississippi. He and his wife, Shawn, have three children: Aiden, 7; Molly, 4; and Caitlin, 2.