Michael White, who was considered the leading candidate over the weekend to replace Cuonzo Martin at Tennessee, has decided to remain as the coach at Louisiana Tech, according to reports Monday.
Sources told CBSSports.com and ESPN.com that the 37-year-old White will not be moving to Knoxville.
White, who has led the Bulldogs to a 74-31 mark over the last three seasons, was the top choice of Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart.
Martin left the Volunteers last week after three seasons and a 64-31 record, including a surprising Sweet 16 run this past season, to go to California.
CBSSports.com first reported White’s talks with Tennessee on Saturday night, at which point a source said that UT had initially contacted some so-called “A-list” candidates to replace Martin, but that the interest wasn’t mutual. Hart then turned toward White.
A major reason for the talks cooling apparently has to do with White’s current contract giving him more long-term security at Louisiana Tech than Tennessee seemed willing to provide.
According to the Knoxville News Sentinel, White recently received a contract extension at Louisiana Tech that increased his annual salary and his buyout to $600,000. Tennessee will receive $1.3 million from Cal for its hiring of Martin, who turned down UT’s offer of a contract extension (two years), a raise ($450,000) and a decreased buyout ($1 million for the length of his contract) for a five-year deal at Cal. Monetary terms have not yet been released by Cal.
CBSSports.com reported that Southern Mississippi coach Donnie Tyndall may now emerge as an alternative candidate.
Tyndall, 43, is 160-98 during his eight seasons as a head coach. He went 114-85 at Morehead State from 2006-12 and has gone 46-13 at Southern Miss since 2012.
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