Georgia hiring Florida’s Mike White as new basketball coach

Georgia is hiring former Florida head coach Mike White to lead the men’s basketball program.

After a disastrous end to the Tom Crean era in Athens, Georgia athletic director Josh Brooks has found his guy by prying Mike White away from arch rival Florida.

White leaves Gainesville after seven seasons. He went 142-88 overall and 72-52 in SEC play. The Gators made the NCAA Tournament four times under his watch. While Florida reached the Elite Eight in his second year on the job in 2017, the Gators were never able to do better than the Round of 32 after that. As for Georgia, the Dawgs almost never make the NCAA Tournament.

With Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports dropping this bombshell right before Selection Sunday, it elicited quite the reaction out of college basketball fans.

Fans react to Mike White leaving Florida for Georgia

White had huge shoes to fill in Gainesville replacing the iconic Billy Donovan on the sidelines. Though that was going to be next to impossible since Donovan won titles there, White for a while held his own. Unfortunately, an improved SEC as a whole left him and the Gators in the dust more often than not. As for Georgia, the Dawgs are hoping to no longer be a bottom-feeding SEC team.

What this hire really signifies is Brooks preferred to hire a proven head coach over a guy with strong connections to Georgia. Since he inherited Kirby Smart from his predecessor Greg McGarity, this will go down as the definitive hire of his time as the Georgia athletic director. While Crean was able to recruit, the on-court product rarely won games. White is being hired to raise the floor here.

Ultimately, this hire is more shocking that White would turn heel in this SEC rivalry more than the hire itself. Florida fans seem to be just fine letting White walk out the door and sign up to coach for a rival program. Though Georgia may not ever get to that level many in Dawg Nation are hoping for, at least this is something different than the unmitigated disaster that was the Tom Crean era.

Here is to this traditional college football border war kicking it up a notch now on the hardwood.

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