July 26, 1999
CLEMSON, S.C. – After conducting a national search, Clemson Associate Athletic Director/Senior Women’s Administrator Linda White announced today the hiring of Ralph White as the Clemson head women’s track and field coach. White replaces Ron Garner, who resigned in June to enter private business in Missouri. A committee of six individuals interviewed four candidates from a pool of over 50 applicants. Ms. White then made a recommendation to Clemson Athletic Director Bobby Robinson and informed Clemson President Constantine W. Curris of the decision.
“We feel that this was a fair decision, in that we had many very qualified candidates from a large pool of applicants,” said White, the search committee chairperson. “Throughout the process Ralph emerged as one of the most outstanding coaches in the country. I would like to thank the members of the committee for their diligence in the search process.”
White served as an assistant coach for the Clemson men’s track and field program the last two seasons and has been the interim head coach of the women’s program for the past month. With the men’s program, he was responsible for leading the sprint, hurdle, relay and 800m athletes. Last season, White’s sprinters and hurdlers garnered two national championships, eight ACC championships and four school records.
Throughout his career, White has coached 126 All-Americans, including 26 national champions. In his two seasons at Clemson, the Tigers have won national championships in three events. Shawn Crawford won the 1998 indoor national championship in the 200m, freshman Ato Modibo won the 1999 indoor national title in the 400m and the Clemson 4x400m relay team of Charles Allen, Kenny Franklin, Davidson Gill and Modibo won the indoor championship in 1999.
“Throughout the past month, I have been focusing on making Clemson women’s track the best it could be,” said White. “Now that the final decision has been made, I think our recruiting can take another step forward. I feel very fortunate to be able to coach at such a fine school as Clemson. We’re going to have our work cut out for us the next two years, but I am convinced we will be a force on the conference and national levels. My next efforts will be to continue our recruiting and solidify a staff. I would like to thank the committee for all the work everyone put in.”
Before coming to Clemson, White was the head coach of women’s cross country, and women’s and men’s track and field at Allegheny College in Pennsylvania from 1987 to 1996. Under his leadership, Allegheny ran for an unprecedented seven NCAC cross country and five Mideast Regional titles. His track and field teams won five indoor and five outdoor women’s NCAC titles, and the men amassed two indoor as well as two outdoor NCAC titles. White coached 34 athletes to All-America status and 32 women’s and 29 men’s school record holders. He was also awarded the NCAC Coach of the Year seven times in cross country and received 13 NCAC Coach of the Year titles in track and field. In 1994, he was named the Mideast Regional Coach of the Year.
Prior to his time at Allegheny, White spent three years as head coach of the men’s and women’s cross country and women’s track and field programs and the top assistant for the men’s track and field program at Southern Methodist University. In 1986, the men garnered the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championship title and claimed runner-up honors for the indoor national title in 1985. His mile relay team captured four national championship titles and achieved a world best time of 3:02.95 in the indoor mile relay in 1985. He developed 41 All-Americans, 18 national champions and five Olympians at SMU.
White began his coaching career as the co-head men’s track and field coach at George Mason. His athletes won the IC4A Outdoor Championships in 1983 and claimed runner-up honors in 1984 for the indoor championship. Under his tutelage, athletes earned 15 All-America certificates and two national championship titles, and two track stars were Olympians. White was inducted into the George Mason Hall of Fame in 1988.
A 1974 graduate of Penn State University, White earned a bachelor’s of science degree in health, physical education and recreation. He and his wife, Lisa, have two children, Ryan (24) and Brittany (20).
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