GAINESVILLE, Fla. — With the news Monday that Ole Miss basketball coach Andy Kennedy will step down after this season, it was only natural that Florida coach Mike White would be linked as a potential candidate to replace him.
White played at Ole Miss from 1995-99 and was an assistant coach with the Rebels from 2004-11 before leaving to become the head coach at Louisiana Tech.
But despite the strong ties, White emphatically stated he will not be a candidate for the position.
“I have no interest, no interest at all,” he said Tuesday. “I love Ole Miss. My wife loves Ole Miss. It’s a great place, great people, Oxford’s an awesome town, Ole Miss has been really, really good to me. But we are so fortunate to be here at Florida. It’s one of the best jobs in the country, and I’m not interested in any other job.”
White is in his third season with the Gators, having led the program to the Elite 8 last year while getting off to a 17-8 (8-4 SEC) start this season.
White did share his appreciation for his time coaching under Kennedy and the opportunity that provided in his career. White had worked under previous Rebels coach Rod Barnes and stayed on when Kennedy was hired in 2006.
He responded to Kennedy’s announcement while talking with reporters Tuesday.
“First thought is he had a helluva run. He had a great run. I think his first year at Ole Miss he was the SEC Coach of the Year, won a share if not the SEC West title. He’s been really, really consistent year in and year out. He’s attracted good talent,” White said.
“He’s obviously been really good to me. He retained me there. I was out of a job in Oxford. I was working with Coach Barnes and we were let go, and he retained me, gave me an opportunity. I learned a lot from him. He had a great run, and I’m sure he’ll coach again and be a success somewhere else as well.”
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