Brian White was named Florida Atlantic University Vice President and Director of Athletics on March 3, 2018. Since that time White has wasted no time initiating the culture of #WinningInParadise in Boca Raton while helping the program grow in stature and national prominence.
White oversees an athletics department that is committed to Winning for Life, providing student-athletes with all the tools necessary to be successful in competition, in the classroom, in the community and in their lives after sports.
FAU Athletics’ culture of academic success has continued to grow under White’s leadership. FAU student-athletes have put together a streak of 12 consecutive semesters (as of Spring 2021) with a department-wide grade-point average of 3.0 or better. Owl student-athletes graduate at a higher rate than their peers in the general student population.
Upon arriving at FAU, White hired new coaches in men’s basketball and men’s and women’s golf. All three programs enjoyed great success over the past three years. Head men’s basketball coach Dusty May has become the first Owls’ head coach in the Division I era to post three consecutive winning seasons. Both golf programs improved by more than by more than 70 spots in the national rankings over the next three years.
Despite many challenges in the 2020-21 year, the Owls still enjoyed success in competition. The football program was undefeated at home under new head coach Willie Taggart and advanced to its third bowl game in the past four seasons. The men’s and women’s basketball teams advanced to the C-USA Championship quarterfinals in the same year for the first time ever. The beach volleyball program earned its first-ever conference title and finished the season ranked No. 12 in the nation.
White’s first two years at FAU saw many accomplishments for the Owls in competition. The football team won its second Conference USA Championship in three years in 2019. Women’s soccer scored back-to-back C-USA regular season titles and baseball earned the 2019 C-USA regular season championship. There was history made on the track in 2019, as Natalliah Whyte became the first FAU track and field athlete to reach the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the 100m dash.
FAU has also seen facilities upgrades under White’s leadership. The Schmidt Family Complex for Academic and Athletic Excellence, housing the football program and the department’s academic support staff, opened in 2020 to rave reviews. At FAU Stadium, there is a new football gameday locker room, training room and equipment room.
With a background in fundraising and external relations, White was able to help FAU make immediate strides in in those areas during his first year on the job. FAU rebranded from the Owl Scholarship Fund to the Paradise Club and was able to increase giving to 275% compared to the previous year while also growing membership by 25% in 2018-19. Overall, FAU saw giving increase to 630% of the previous year. In 2019-20, Paradise Club giving grew to 300 percent of the previous year’s fund-raising total. White’s team launched the We Believe In Paradise initiative in December of 2020 and the initiative led to a 30 percent increase in donor participation in the Paradise Club in just four months. In addition, two separate gift commitments of more than $2 million were pledged to FAU Athletics in 2020.
White, who has an extensive background in collegiate sports administration, hit the ground running upon arriving in Boca and in his first year at the helm of the FAU Athletic Department hired three new coaches, built a strong administrative staff and spearheaded several initiatives including Paradise Pricing and the Paradise Pride Program. In 2019, under White’s leadership FAU added a new premium seating area at FAU Stadium — Paradise Field Cabanas.
The Owls have made an impact in the community during White’s tenure with nearly 9,000 hours of community service in 2018-19 and 2019-20!