|Mark White led his alma mater to an 89-91 record over seven seasons.
Adrian athletics file photo
Adrian College men's basketball coach Mark White announced his resignation and plans to return to the high school coaching rankings near Detroit.
"Words cannot describe how grateful I am for the opportunity to coach such great young men at a College I love so much," White said of his alma mater. "I appreciate the tremendous support from the administration, staff and student body. The relationships and experiences I have gained here at Adrian College have greatly enhanced my life, and shall always have a special place in my heart."
White led the Bulldogs for the past seven seasons while compiling an 89-91 overall record in the MIAA since his arrival back to campus for the 2009-10 season. His 89 victories are second-most in the last 46 years at Adrian and the fourth-highest total since the program was founded in 1902-03.
“Mark has been a fantastic leader for our men’s basketball program. Both as a player and as a head coach, he embodies the characteristics Adrian College Athletics aspires to achieve," said Adrian College President, Dr. Jeffrey Docking. "He will truly be missed. He will bring a wealth of leadership skills to River Rouge High School and its surrounding community. Mark leaves Bulldog basketball in a very solid position and he will continue to be a valued alumnus of the College."
White will take the boys' basketball coaching helm at River Rouge near Detroit, as well as working in an administrative capacity.
All told, White mentored seven all-conference selections, including first-team standouts Eric Lewis and Christian Covile, as well as four-year Academic All-MIAA standout Ben Rodak.
Athletic director Mike Duffy added: “Mark has been a mentor to a countless number young men over the years. I have no doubt Mark will be an asset to his new community and will make a significant contribution to preparing high school students for college and life beyond high school. Mark is a real winner."
Adrian has improved upon its previous record in each of the past two years under Coach White. A season ago, the squad finished one game back of the fourth spot in the final MIAA standings, a three-place improvement from 2014-15. The 2015-16 campaign also saw the Bulldogs start 5-0--with Carthage Classic and Allegheny College Memorial Tipoff Classic championships in tow--for the first time since winning their first 11 games in 2012-13, which was the best season in the Mark White era.
That season, he piloted the team to a record of 18-8 overall and 7-7 in the MIAA to finish third in the conference. The 18 wins were the most by a Bulldog men’s basketball team since 1955 when they finished 21-4 and won the MIAA championship.
The 2011-12 campaign saw the team finish 17-9 overall and 9-5 in the MIAA. The final conference record put the squad in second place in the MIAA, the best finish by an Adrian College men’s basketball team since the 1978-79 season. Adrian took Hope College to overtime in the MIAA Tournament Final in Holland, narrowly missing out on the school’s first-ever NCAA Division III Championship bid. The 35 wins from 2012 to 2013 is a two-year best for the basketball program.
In the 2010-11 season, the Bulldogs ended up 13-13 overall and 7-7 in the conference. Adrian topped the league in scoring defense at 56.9 points per game, a school record at the time, and rebounding average at 31.6 per game.
White’s first season at the helm in 2009-10 saw the squad improve upon the previous year’s record by seven games. The team finished 15-12 overall and 9-5 in the MIAA, good enough for a third-place conference finish. Adrian finished the season by winning seven of its final 10 games including a 73-68 victory over NCAA Tournament participant Hope at the Merillat Center.
White is a 1988 graduate of Adrian College and was inducted into the College's Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002. He currently ranks fifth on the career charts in scoring with 1,454 points and is also the current holder of the all-time assists record.
Prior to taking the head coaching job at Adrian, White was a successful prep coach in his hometown of Detroit, Michigan at Renaissance and Southeastern high schools. He compiled a record of 201-42 during his time at both schools. He coached Renaissance to four state semifinal appearances in five years from 2002 to 2006, winning the Michigan Class B High School State Championship in 2004 and 2006.
A national search is currently under way for White's successor.