DURHAM, N.C. -- Duke University President Vincent Price announced Thursday the school and Vice President and Director of Athletics Kevin White have agreed to a contract extension through June 30, 2022. The new deal represents a one-year extension from White’s previous contract.
“I count myself very lucky to work with Kevin White, who is far and away the best athletic director in the business,” said Price. “Kevin truly cares about each of his student-athletes, and he has been a valuable friend and partner to many of our coaches, faculty, and university leaders. I am delighted that he will continue to provide leadership on campus, both during my first season as a Blue Devil and for many years to come.”
White, 66, arrived at Duke in 2008 after leading Notre Dame’s athletics program for eight years. In addition to previously holding AD positions at Arizona State University, Tulane University, the University of Maine and Loras College in Iowa, White has served in a number of prominent national leadership roles within intercollegiate athletics, including his service in 2006-07 as president of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and in 2005-06 as president of the Division I-A Athletic Directors Association. White currently serves on the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee, the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) Board of Directors.
"Simply put, I am absolutely thrilled to serve this truly great university,” said White. “Dr. Price, Dr. Brodhead before him, and the Board of Trustees have repeatedly shown their immense commitment to Duke Athletics. We are eternally grateful for this phenomenal support. While the world constantly changes around us, it is most comforting to know that Duke Athletics can adapt to those challenges without ever compromising who we are, which is a department in the constant pursuit of excellence in competition, in the classroom, and within the Durham community. To be sure, Jane and I look forward to continuing our life’s work at this magical place, wherein we are afforded the distinct opportunity each and every day to interface with a cohort of remarkable student-athletes, world-class coaches, and an exceptional staff.”
Since White’s arrival, Duke has captured seven NCAA Championships – women’s tennis in 2009, men’s basketball in 2010 and 2015, men’s lacrosse in 2010, 2013 and 2014, and women’s golf in 2014 – and 20 ACC titles. Eighty-five Blue Devil teams ranked among the nation’s top 10 teams during the past nine seasons with 15 – men’s basketball (2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017), field hockey (2016), men’s lacrosse (2010, 2013, 2014), women’s golf (2012, 2015) and women’s tennis (2009, 2010, 2014) – reaching No. 1. In all, 151 Blue Devil teams advanced to NCAA postseason competition during White’s Duke tenure.
In 2016-17, Duke claimed three ACC championships in men’s basketball, men’s golf and women’s golf. Individually, Duke student-athletes claimed one National Player of the Year honor, three ACC Player of the Year recognitions, six individual ACC championships, and five ACC Scholar Athletes of the Year awards. In 2016, Duke was the only athletic department in the nation to have a bowl champion, a Sweet 16 appearance in men’s basketball and secure a baseball NCAA postseason berth.
Academically, Duke teams continued strong performances under White. In the 2016-17 academic year, all 27 Blue Devil varsity teams earned grade point averages of 3.0 or better in the fall, while 26 of 27 accomplished that in the spring semester. Overall, 489 Blue Devil student-athletes made the latest All-ACC Honor Roll and continued an amazing stretch wherein Duke led the conference for the 29th time in the past 30 years. Last year, five Duke student-athletes were selected as CoSIDA Academic All-Americans, while 54 others received National Scholar-Athlete or Scholar All-America accolades. In White’s nine-year tenure, former women’s tennis player Parker Goyer won a Rhodes Scholarship (2009), while pole vaulter Sally Liu (2009) and swimmer Allie Speidel (2011) earned Marshall Scholarships.
White’s commitment to the overall mission of the university remains clear. A portion of ticket sales Blue Devil regular season home sporting events are directed annually to the Duke University Libraries and the Rubenstein-Bing Civic Student-Athlete Civic Engagement program (ACE). Per White’s vision from 2011, the Duke Athletics Library Fund has generated significant unrestricted revenue for the Duke University Libraries to support teaching and research across the institution. The civic engagement program, known as ACE, was started in 2015 in a partnership with Stanford University. The foundation of the venture includes student-athletes from both Duke and Stanford working together in under-resourced communities in the United States and abroad.
In fall of 2012, Duke University announced the $3.25 billion Duke Forward fundraising campaign for priorities across Duke’s 10 schools, Duke Medicine and a range of university programs. Included in the campaign was a $250 million goal for Duke Athletics to be divided three ways – for facility enhancements and support ($100 million), endowment income ($50 million) and operating funds ($100 million). The initial $250 million goal was exceeded by the Duke Athletics fundraising team by more than $90 million ($340 million was raised in the campaign that ended June 30, 2017). Several facility projects have been initiated and completed, including major renovations to Brooks Field at Wallace Wade Stadium, including Blue Devil Tower and the Davis Family Kicking Field at the Brooks Practice Facility, a grand entrance and entertainment space to the front of iconic Cameron Indoor Stadium (Rubenstein Pavilion), and the Scott Family Athletics Performance Center that now houses several of Duke Athletics’ administrative units, as well as new strength and conditioning and sports medicine areas, a ticket office and team merchandise store.
White, who holds a Ph.D. in education, has taught graduate-level classes since 1982 and currently teaches a sports business course in Duke’s Fuqua School of Business as part of Duke’s MBA program. White and his wife, Jane, have five children and 12 grandchildren.