Mike White (American football)

Mike White (American football)
Mike White
White in 2007
Sport(s) Football
Biographical details
Born January 4, 1936 (1936-01-04) (age 75)
Place of birth Berkeley, California
Playing career
1955–1957 California
Position(s) End, halfback
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
California (assistant)
Stanford (assistant)
San Francisco 49ers (assistant)
Los Angeles Raiders (assistant)
Oakland Raiders
St. Louis Rams (assistant)
Head coaching record
Overall 82–71–4 (college)
15–17 (NFL)
Bowls 0–3
College Football Data Warehouse
Accomplishments and honors
1 Pac-8 (1975)
1 Big Ten (1983)
Sporting News College Football COY (1983)
Walter Camp Coach of the Year (1983)
Big Ten Coach of the Year (1983)

Michael Kavanaugh White (born January 4, 1936) is former American football player and coach. He has 16 years experience as a head coach, including stints at the University of California, Berkeley (1972–1977), the University of Illinois (1980–1987) and the Oakland Raiders of the NFL (1995–1996).


College coaching career

During his college coaching career, White was twice named National Coach of the Year, first in 1975 where he coached a team led by Joe Roth, Chuck Muncie and Wesley Walker to the Pac-8 co-championship.

White moved to the University of Illinois in 1980. He succeeded Gary Moeller, who in three seasons at Illinois finished no higher than eighth in the Big Ten Conference. White quickly turned around the Illinois football program, posting a winning season in only his second year. In 1982, Illinois went to the Liberty Bowl, the school's first bowl appearance since the 1964 Rose Bowl. The 1982 Liberty Bowl was also notable as the final game coached by University of Alabama head coach Bear Bryant. In 1983, Illinois won its first Big Ten title in 20 years with an overall record of 10–1, including a 9–0 conference record, and played in the 1984 Rose Bowl. It also marked the first time since 1967 that neither Michigan nor Ohio State won at least a share of the conference title. White was honored for his team's achievements by being named UPI Coach of the Year. The 1983 Illinois team is the only team in Big Ten history to beat each of the other conference teams in a single season, an achievement made possible by the fact that rarely in conference history have teams played all the other teams in a season. White also led the Fighting Illini to the 1985 Peach Bowl, which they lost to Army 31–29. In eight seasons at Illinois, White's teams had a combined record of 47–41–3, for a winning percentage of .533. Along the way, White coached future NFL quarterbacks Dave Wilson, Tony Eason, and Jack Trudeau, and record-setting wide receiver David Williams.

NFL coaching career

White's years as the head coach of the Oakland Raiders are best recalled for the team's collapse in the 1995 season, when the 8–2 Raiders went into a nosedive, losing their final six games to finish 8–8 and out of the playoffs. Following a 7-9 record in 1996, White was fired by the Raiders on Christmas Eve, being given the news by Bruce Allen though Al Davis was involved in the decision.[1] It is likely that the call was made in the morning, allowing White's family to enjoy Christmas Eve. White was on the coaching staff of the Rams 1997-1999, including a Super Bowl victory at the conclusion of the '99 season. White later served as the Director of Football Administration for the Kansas City Chiefs.

Personal and later life

White a member of The Delta Upsilon Fraternity. Since 2006, White has served as Camp Blue's manager at the Lair of the Golden Bear, a family camp run by the Cal Alumni Association.

Head coaching record


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
California Golden Bears (Pacific-10 Conference) (1972–1977)
1972 California 3–8 3–4 5th
1973 California 4–7 2–5 T–5th
1974 California 7–3–1 4–2–1 T–3rd
1975 California 8–3 6–1 T–1st 15 14
1976 California 5–6 3–4 T–4th
1977 California 8–3 4–3 5th
California: 35–30–1 21–20–1
Illinois Fighting Illini (Big Ten Conference) (1980–1987)
1980 Illinois 3–7–1 3–5 T–6th
1981 Illinois 7–4 6–3 T–3rd
1982 Illinois 7–5 6–3 4th L Liberty
1983 Illinois 10–2 9–0 1st L Rose 10 10
1984 Illinois 7–4 6–3 T–2nd
1985 Illinois 6–5–1 5–2–1 3rd L Peach
1986 Illinois 4–7 3–5 T–6th
1987 Illinois 3–7–1 2–5–1 8th
Illinois: 47–41–3 40–26–2
Total: 82–71–4
      National Championship         Conference Title         Conference Division Title
#Rankings from final Coaches' Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.


  1. ^ Schapiro, Washington Post, Dec. 25, 1996

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