Mike White (American football coach)

Mike White
White in 2007
Sport(s) Football
Biographical details
Born (1936-01-04) January 4, 1936
Berkeley, California
Playing career
1955–1957 California
Position(s) End, halfback
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1958–1963 California (DL)
1964–1971 Stanford (OC/OL)
1972–1977 California
1978–1979 San Francisco 49ers (OL)
1980–1987 Illinois
1990–1994 Los Angeles Raiders (QB/OL)
1995–1996 Oakland Raiders
1997–1999 St. Louis Rams (OA)
Head coaching record
Overall 82–71–4 (college)
15–17 (NFL)
Bowls 0–3
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 National Football League (NFL) (1995–1996).

College coaching career

During his college coaching career, White was twice named National Coach of the Year, first in 1975 at California. He coached a team led by Joe Roth, Chuck Muncie and Wesley Walker to the Pac-8 co-championship—the school's first conference title in 18 years.

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, he led the Illini 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—and the school's last outright conference title in the pre-championship game era—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 not make 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 is 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.

White is a Board Member for the Lott IMPACT Trophy, which is named after Ronnie Lott and is awarded annually to college football's Defensive IMPACT Player of the Year.[2]

Head coaching record


Year Team Overall ConferenceStanding Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
California Golden Bears (Pacific-10 Conference) (1972–1977)
1972 California 3–83–45th
1973 California 4–72–5T–5th
1974 California 7–3–14–2–1T–3rd
1975 California 8–36–1T–1st1514
1976 California 5–63–4T–4th
1977 California 8–34–35th
California: 35–30–121–20–1
Illinois Fighting Illini (Big Ten Conference) (1980–1987)
1980 Illinois 3–7–13–5T–6th
1981 Illinois 7–46–3T–3rd
1982 Illinois 7–56–34thL Liberty
1983 Illinois 10–29–01stL Rose1010
1984 Illinois 7–46–3T–2nd
1985 Illinois 6–5–15–2–13rdL Peach
1986 Illinois 4–73–5T–6th
1987 Illinois 3–7–12–5–18th
Illinois: 47–41–340–26–2
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title or championship game berth

National Football League

TeamYearRegular SeasonPost Season
WonLostTiesWin %FinishWonLostWin %Result
OAK1995 880.5005th in AFC West--
OAK1996 790.4384th in AFC West--

Coaching tree

Assistant coaches under Mike White who became NCAA head coaches:


  1. Schapiro, Washington Post, Dec. 25, 1996
  2. http://www.lottimpacttrophy.com/
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