Danny White, UCF’s new director of athletics, stepped onto the university’s campus for the first time in his life Thursday morning, ready to take on many challenges. But, despite his eagerness, he will not begin his full-time job just yet.
“Danny’s going to start full time in January, but we’re going to have him on base to get things moving, and we’ll start that search for our head coach of football right away,” Hitt said.
Although White will begin searching for UCF’s new head football coach tomorrow by flying to Atlanta to meet with search consultants, he will remain at the University at Buffalo until the end of the calendar year.
“I want to make sure I transition out of [Buffalo] the right way so that the momentum that’s going on there will continue,” White said. “The football coach search is already started. I know that’s a critical leadership role for us moving forward. We realize how important that is and how critical the timing of it is to establish a new leader to point us in the right direction.”
White was enticed to lead the athletics department of the nation’s second-largest university and credited former head football coach George O’Leary for the bricks he laid down in the pathway to a successful program.
“I also want to congratulate and thank coach George O’Leary for the work he did here in building one of the nation’s most formidable college football programs,” White said. “The success that’s been had [and] the foundation that’s been laid is remarkable. It allows me now to sell a job that I think is very attractive in college football circles.
“This is an institution that’s going places very quickly, and it’s come a long way in a short period of time.”
Hitt displayed full confidence in White’s ability to hire a credible, ethical and winning football coach.
“He’s got a history of hiring outstanding coaches,” Hitt said. “We have found a true rising star among our nation’s ADs. … He’s determined, he’s energetic and he understands that success starts with winning with integrity, and also stresses the role [of] our student-athletes thriving in the classroom.”
White’s four main goals for the university include operating with the most substantial amount of integrity, focusing on student-athletes’ best interests, recruiting and managing people from the athletes to front office staff and “building an innovative and entrepreneurial business model.”
“I want to build one of the nation’s most formidable athletic departments, and I think we can do that by maintaining the high level of academic success that’s occurred here,” White said. “We want to operate with a tremendous amount of integrity, but we want to compete for championships.”
Jarrod Heil is the Sports Editor for the Central Florida Future. Follow him on Twitter at @JarrodHeil or email him at JarrodH@CentralFloridaFuture.com.