Written By: YSPN360
May 18, 2018
YSPN360 Instructor and former Oregon Ducks Head Softball Coach Mike White says a hard goodbye he never thought he’d be saying. White announced his resignation from Oregon in late June and had begun to prepare to take over the Texas Longhorns’ program.
“I really planned on retiring at Oregon,” said White.
White spent the last nine seasons building Oregon’s program to what it is known as today, and his work is anything short of impressive. He led the Ducks to five PAC-12 championship wins, five trips to the Women’s College World Series and claimed the program’s first No. 1 ranking in 2014. He finished his time at Oregon with a 53-10 record in 2018, and a 435-111-1-career record.
While the accomplishments Oregon racked up under White are a result of standout performances, he looks back on them remembering fond memories that ended up some of his favorite times with Oregon, listing off “Super Regionals, the top 16 teams in the country, the World Series and winning the first Pac-12 tournament” as some of his favorites.
“The players [at Oregon] are the hardest part of leaving,” said White when talking about Oregon. And leaving is probably one of the hardest decisions he had made at Oregon, but there is a realization that there is a business side, too.
“Financial reasons [ended up the deciding factor to move to Texas].” White told YSPN360, “Oregon wouldn’t consider negotiations, and Texas had more to offer. With the place my family is at, financial reasons led me to Texas.”
Although the transfer came too late in the year for White to properly recruit for the 2019 season, he is hopeful for the future, believing the program will “attract more players.” And, as with any new opportunity, coaching for the Longhorns presents some excitement for White and potential to accomplish what Oregon never handed him—a World Series.
“The brand of Oregon was really good when I got there — the facilities and the stadium,” said White. “Texas is another brand and is bigger than Oregon. It’s standard is higher. Your athletic department has a $200 million budget. The size and resources Texas has will attract a bigger variety of players.”
The real test will be seeing how much the Longhorns want what White is offering. He plans to demand the same standards at Texas that he did at Oregon, but will be looking for a consistency Oregon often dropped the ball on when it came to the Women’s College World Series.
“[I’m looking to have] a team go to the World Series and perform like they can,” said White about what he wishes he’d accomplish. “[At Oregon, we knew] we couldn’t drop a game and win conference, but we come back and win conference then fell short. I pointed the finger at me. I’ve never had a team go to the World Series and do what they are capable of doing.
“Are you willing to do what it takes to go to the World Series?” He asked the question toward Texas. “Many people want to go to the World Series, but they aren’t willing to put the time in to go.
White brings with him former Oregon assistant coach Chelsea Spencer. He will continue to work with YSPN360 to grow the game and help youth around the country improve their game the correct way.
“I’m excited for the growth of the game,” stated White. “I love seeing it on TV again. We’re all in this together, to grow the game. It’s great to see the game on the big stage again with the Olympics. We just need to keep [softball] at the forefront of everyone’s minds to help grow the game.”