Daniel J. White was named Director of Athletics at The State University of New York at Buffalo by President Satish K. Tripathi on May 8, 2012.
With an aggressive plan for the athletics program, White immediately laid the blueprint to capitalize on the unlimited potential of UB Athletics as the largest public institution in the state of New York and the flagship of the SUNY system. He has wasted little time putting his transformational plan in place, capitalizing on a vibrant student and alumni base that will craft his vision as the program is elevated to new heights.
A rising star in intercollegiate athletics, the former Notre Dame Basketball player and New Orleans native has quickly ascended in the ranks of college athletics leadership.
Since his arrival at The State University of New York at Buffalo, White has addressed coaching changes adding experience and depth through recent hires Felisha Legette-Jack (women’s basketball), Sandy Calfo (rowing), Stu Riddle (men’s soccer), Bobby Hurley (men’s basketball), John Stutzman (wrestling) Reed Sunahara (volleyball) and Trena Peel (softball).
Through a collective effort of athletics senior administration, coaches and staff, White recently introduced a comprehensive strategic plan that will outline a path for success in the coming years. Most notably the vision to build America’s next big time college athletics brand.
White is overseeing a number of capital projects that will create new as well as upgraded facilities on the Athletics blueprint. These included the $1 million Murchie Family Football Center – dedicated on July 19, 2013 – and a recently upgraded Men’s and Women’s Basketball hallway in Alumni Arena. Also in the works is a transformational capital project, the first in the 20-year history of UB Stadium to include a state of the art sports medicine center, the new East Club, which will provide fans with unparalleled fan amenities in UB Stadium, and, thanks to the generous $3 million commitment by the Murchie Family, the construction of the new Football Headquarters.
This $3 million gift was the largest ever single gift in athletic department history. The fundraising efforts across the board have been on the rise since White arrived in Buffalo. Cash collections are up 18% and commitments are up 119% year to date. The number of donors to the Blue and White Fund has also grown 43%.
The numbers continue to rise in the classroom as well, with UB student-athletes posting 5 straight semesters of an average GPA above 3.0 – the only 5 times that has occurred in the history of the department. The spring of 2014 was the highest ever – 3.070. UB also had 11 teams above a 3.0 and 17 teams above a 2.8.
With the goal of increasing the fan base and enhancing revenues, White introduced a priority seating program for football with a new commitment to a vibrant fan experience on football game days. These moves included an upgraded Stampede Square fan interaction zone, corporate village tailgating area and a UB Football Tailgate Concert Series which will bring national recording artists to campus for pre-game concerts. The success of this new game day experience lead to a record breaking attendance year for UB football with an average paid attendance of 22,736 - over 2,000 more than any other school in the MAC. UB posted a total paid attendance of 136,428, shattering the previous school record of 108,118 set in 2011. The Bulls had five games with a paid attendance of over 20,000. UB only had four games of 20,000 or more fans over the past five seasons, combined.
In one of his most interesting and exciting moves this past football season, White announced that UB would play its first ever football game at Ralph Wilson Stadium – home of the NFL’s Buffalo Bills. UB played Bowling Green in what was coined the "Black Friday Clash at the Ralph" on Nov. 29 and drew 26,226 fans – the third largest crowd to ever watch a home football game. This game was also the first college football game played at the stadium since 1979.
The record breaking football season concluded with the most wins in program history (8) and the second ever bowl game appearance (The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl). This momentum carried into basketball season with first time head coach, Bobby Hurley, leading our Men’s Basketball team to their first ever MAC East Championship. Men’s Basketball revenue set a record high with an increase of over 30%.
White also engaged the services of global brand leader and Buffalo based corporation New Era Cap to launch the New York Bulls Initiative. With the help of an advisory board chaired by New Era President, Pete Augustine, the NYBI introduced a new word-mark and branding platform that will further enhance the department’s stature as the State University of New York’s only public FBS program. In addition, for the first time in school history a radio network will span across the entire state of New York, anchored by ESPN 1520. A 50,000-watt station, ESPN 1520 has one of the strongest signals in the nation. At night, the station can be heard from New England to South Carolina and throughout the entire state of New York. Daytime broadcasts will be supplemented by new radio partnerships in the Rochester, Albany and New York City markets. In an effort to gain more local exposure, White also secured a partnership with the local NBC affiliate station, WGRZ Channel 2 making it the official television home for UB Athletics.
Prior to Buffalo, White served as senior associate athletics director at the University of Mississippi from 2009-12. From 2007-09, White was associate athletics director for development at California State University - Fresno. He was assistant athletics director for development at Northern Illinois University from 2006-07. White began his career in athletic administration as a development associate for the UMAA Foundation at Mississippi in 2005.
A collegiate basketball player at Towson University and the University of Notre Dame, White was director of basketball operations for men’s basketball at Ohio University for the 2003-04 season before being promoted to assistant men’s basketball coach for the 2004-05 campaign.
White is a 2002 graduate of Notre Dame with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He earned master’s degrees in both business administration and sports administration from Ohio University. He is working to complete a PhD in higher education from the University of Mississippi.
White comes from a family deeply involved in intercollegiate athletics. His father, Kevin, is director of athletics at Duke University. His brother, Michael, is the head men’s basketball coach at Louisiana Tech University, and his brother, Brian, is the associate athletics director for development at the University of Tulsa.
Danny and his wife, Shawn, have four children: Aidan (10), Molly (7), Caitlin (5) and James (2).