A little more than a month after Connie Clark resigned following 23 seasons as the Texas Longhorns softball coach, the news broke from Eugene that Mike White will leave the Oregon Ducks to take over for Clark in Austin, according to The Register-Guard. The Oregonian later confirmed the news with White and Texas announced the hire later on Monday afternoon.
“Mike is a highly-respected coach with a tremendous reputation in the softball community,” athletics director Chris Del Conte said. “What he has accomplished in nine years at Oregon is truly special. In a short period of time, Mike took a program that had not had a great deal of success and built it into a consistent national power. He is a program builder, and Mike truly cares about developing his student-athletes - on the diamond, in the classroom and as people. I’m so excited about the future of Texas Softball with Mike leading our program.”
Clark stepped down following a 33-26 season, ending a tenure that began when she left Florida State to start the Texas program in 1995. During Clark’s time in Austin, she went 873-401-3 during 22 varsity seasons.
White will take over after a remarkable run with the Ducks — he led Oregon to to five appearances in the Women’s College World Series in the last seven years and five Pac-12 Championships in the last six years.
Winning a national championship, however, has eluded White, which perhaps contributed to his decision to leave a program where he set such a high standard to take over a program that boasts five Women’s College World Series appearances in its history.
“Why not Texas?” White said. “I believe The University of Texas has every resource available to become a national power in softball. The recruiting base in Texas is tremendous, and the plans that Chris Del Conte has for the program and facility upgrades make Texas very appealing. I think it’s the right time in my career to make a move. I still have a lot of energy and time left to make an impact, and Texas has the backing and resources to do just that.”
White is also likely to receive a raise after making an average of about $240,000 since 2015. The final contract for Clark paid her $200,000 per season.
“Personally, I’m tremendously excited to be the head coach at The University of Texas,” White said. “My first goal will be to get the current players on board with our vision for Texas Softball. I also need to put together a great coaching staff of people who want to grind along with me to get this program to the top.”