Brian White Named Vice President and Director of Athletics
Florida Atlantic University’s rapid rise to an elite national athletic program will continue under the leadership of Brian White, who was hired today as FAU’s vice president and director of athletics. White, who has signed a five-year contract, brings an extensive background in collegiate sports administration to a program growing in stature and prominence.
White, the Owls’ sixth full-time athletic director, will be introduced at a press conference on FAU’s Boca Raton campus on a date to be determined.
An experienced administrator and proven fundraiser, White joins FAU from the University of Missouri, where he was named senior associate athletics director in 2015 before becoming deputy athletics director for external relations in 2016. He also served as Missouri’s sport administrator for football and men’s basketball.
“I challenged our coaches and our entire athletics department to create top 25 programs capable of competing at the highest level,” said FAU President John Kelly. “Everyone involved has risen to the challenge and, in bringing Brian White to FAU, we will continue on our exciting journey under his skilled leadership.”
White replaces Pat Chun, who departed FAU in January for the same role at Washington State University. Brian Battle, serving as FAU’s interim director of athletics since January, returns to his role as senior associate director of athletics for internal operations.
“The moment this opportunity arose I knew immediately I wanted to join the team at Florida Atlantic University,” White said. “From the vision and ambition of the president and the board of trustees to the huge potential of all the school’s athletic programs, these are exciting times to be at FAU.”
At Missouri, White oversaw all external units, including development, marketing, ticket sales, strategic communications, Mizzou Sports Properties, and the Mizzou Network. He managed the university’s relationship with Learfield Sports, which also partners with FAU to protect and maximize FAU’s brand awareness and royalty revenues.
White led fundraising efforts that set the single-year Missouri athletics department records of more than $50 million (more than doubling the previous year) and 11 seven-figure gifts. In addition, the department secured the necessary donations that allowed the Board of Curators, which oversees the University of Missouri system, to approve a funding model for a $100 million expansion of Memorial Stadium set to be completed before the 2019 football season.
In leading the athletic department’s external teams, White implemented a strategic marketing and ticket sales approach that increased the men’s basketball season ticket revenue by 57 percent and sold out Mizzou Arena’s season ticket offerings for the first time in school history. He was also instrumental in the March 2017 hiring of men’s basketball coach Cuonzo Martin, who has quickly turned around the Tigers program with a 19-11 record entering the final weekend of the regular season.
White’s family is highly-respected in collegiate athletics. His father, Kevin, is Duke University’s vice president and director of athletics; his oldest brother, Mike, is the head men’s basketball coach at the University of Florida; and brother, Danny, is vice president and director of athletics at the University of Central Florida.
With a wide-ranging understanding of the college sports landscape, White arrives at FAU intent on building upon the athletic program’s recent success, both on and off the field.
Under the direction of first-year head coach Lane Kiffin, the Owls’ football team earned its first Conference USA championship in 2017, finishing with an undefeated record in league games and closing the season on a 10-game winning streak with a 50-3 victory over the University of Akron in the Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl.
The men’s and women’s basketball teams have both improved on their records from last year and will participate in the Conference USA postseason tournament, while the Owls’ baseball team is off to an impressive 7-2 start highlighted by a victory over the University of Miami on Feb. 28. The softball team, coached by women’s sports icon Joan Joyce, is 10-8 through the first month of its 2018 campaign after compiling a .714 winning percentage the previous three seasons.
In November 2016, FAU opened a new eight-court tennis facility just north of the FAU Arena on the Boca Raton campus. The 29,419-seat FAU Stadium is home to the Boca Raton
Bowl and has hosted home games for the Florida Launch (Major League Lacrosse), as well as the 2014 NCAA Women’s Soccer College Cup, and a U.S. men’s national soccer team friendly.
In the classroom, the fall 2017 semester marked the fifth consecutive term FAU’s student-athletes earned a 3.0 or higher department GPA. Thirty student-athletes earned a spot on the President’s Academic List, 77 were named to the Dean’s List and 45 received Conference USA academic medals.
Prior to his time at Missouri, White was the associate athletic director for development and chief development officer at Army West Point. He led Army’s A Club fundraising initiatives, securing donations for the annual fund, endowments and capital projects. He also oversaw all athletic fundraising efforts at the University of Tulsa in 2014 and was associate athletic director for external affairs at Louisiana Tech University from 2012-2014. Before moving into athletics development and administration, White spent 2007-12 as an account executive at IMG College, a leading collegiate sports marketing company.
White earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Notre Dame (2006) and a master’s in business administration from Ohio University (2008). White and his wife, Paige, have two daughters, 2-year-old Callahan, and Emerson, 5 months.