Original article (Lance White Named Pitt Women’s Basketball Head Coach) on the University of Pittsburgh’s athletic website pittsburghpanthers.com.
University of Pittsburgh Director of Athletics Heather Lyke announced Wednesday afternoon the hiring of Lance White as head women’s basketball coach.
“When I first met Coach White, his genuine personality, energy and excitement about being at Pitt was evident and contagious,” Lyke said. “He has a tremendous pedigree in coaching and has been an instrumental part of several successful women’s basketball programs that have sustained success at the highest levels. I am confident he is more than prepared to build a program that brings great pride to our University. We are thrilled to welcome Lance and his wife, Melanie, and their children to Pittsburgh and the Pitt family.”
White comes to Pitt after spending the past 15 years at Florida State, where he helped the Seminoles to a 350-145 (.707) record, including 12 seasons with 20 wins or more. Since White’s arrival at FSU, 10 players were selected in the WNBA Draft, eight Seminoles earned ACC All-Defensive team honors and 37 earned all-conference awards. He helped the Florida State reach the NCAA Tournament in 13 of the past 14 years, while the team won at least one NCAA Tournament game in its past 15 appearances. For his standout coaching efforts during the 2016-17 season, White was named the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association National Assistant (WBCA) Coach of the Year.
“The University of Pittsburgh has a storied history of athletic prowess and I am excited to build on that tradition,” White said. “I am honored to be the head coach of the Pitt women’s basketball program. I am grateful to Heather Lyke, Chancellor Patrick Gallagher and Bethany Wagner for the opportunity to lead a Power Five program. I look forward to working with the team, building relationships within the community and crafting a culture of success.”
Considered by Florida State head coach Sue Semrau to be one of the rising stars of the coaching profession when she hired him in 2003, White helped FSU reach new levels of success and brought an infectious energy to the program. He directed the Seminole defense and offense during his tenure in addition to being one of the country’s top recruiters. After serving as assistant coach for the first nine seasons in Tallahassee, White was promoted to associate head coach in advance of the 2012-13 campaign.
White came to Florida State from Texas Tech where he spent 11 seasons, including five years as an assistant coach with the Lady Raiders’ top-10 program under legendary head coach Marsha Sharp. With White on staff, Texas Tech won three Big 12 championships and advanced to seven consecutive NCAA Tournaments, including five Sweet 16 and two Elite Eight appearances. He was a student assistant on Tech’s 1993 national championship team and a graduate assistant coach for two seasons before being elevated to a full-time coach in 1998.
While in Lubbock, White worked with some of the best players the game has ever seen, including National Player of the Year and three-time WNBA MVP Sheryl Swoopes as well as Plenette Pierson, who was named 2007 WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year.
White is the ninth head coach in Pitt women’s basketball history and takes over a team that went 10-20 overall and 2-14 in ACC play in 2017-18.
A 1996 graduate of Texas Tech, White earned his bachelor’s degree in exercise and sports science. He went on to receive a master’s degree in sports administration in August 1998. He attended Lubbock Christian University for three semesters before transferring to Texas Tech in January 1993.
He is married to the former Melanie Smith, who is a professor at Florida A&M University. The Whites are the proud parents of Quentin and Vivian.