*SINCE HIS ARRIVAL, FLORIDA STATE IS 271-123 (.688) IN THE LAST 12 SEASONS*
Florida State women's basketball associate head coach Lance White has developed a reputation as one of college basketball’s best game-planners and recruiters. It’s no secret that his connection with the Seminoles over the last 12 years has resulted in a dramatic rise in the program’s success.
During his 12 years with the Garnet and Gold, FSU has gone 271-123 (.688) and recorded nine 20-win seasons. Responsible for Florida State’s offensive principles, White put together arguably his most impressive year yet as the 2014-15 Seminoles reached the NCAA Elite Eight for the second time in school history.
What is known as the best season in school history, Florida State emerged as one of the most entertaining teams to watch in college basketball last season. White’s emphasis on spacing the floor, sharing the ball and looking for the fast break culminated in FSU averaging 75.5 points per game – its highest point production in 24 years.
One of White’s seemingly hardest tasks to tackle at the start of the season was to create a cohesive offense with several new faces. He accomplished that and plenty more, as the Seminoles became the first team in program history to average five double-figure scorers. The Noles finished in the Top 15 nationally in scoring margin (eighth, 18.2), field goal percentage (13th, 45.0) and offensive rebounds per game (13th, 17.0). The Noles’ team-oriented offensive attack was also highlighted by their 585 total assists, the fifth time they recorded 500+ assists in a season and just the second time since 1994-95.
FSU ended its tremendous 2014-15 campaign making 1,053 field goals, the second-most in school history. The offense of junior center All-American Adut Bulgak and sophomore guard All-American Leticia Romero sparked a unit that looked as if it had played together for several years prior. Bulgak added an All-ACC First Team selection, Romero earned second-team honors and freshman forward Shakayla Thomas was the ACC Sixth Player of the Year and an All-ACC Freshman Team member.
Last year’s group set endless program marks that will be hard to top, including most wins (32), most 3-point field goals made (216), highest final ranking (seventh), most ACC wins (14), most Top 25 wins (6) and most home wins at the Donald L. Tucker Center (16).
White played a vital part in the development of several Florida State student-athletes in the 2013-14 season, most notably Natasha Howard and Cheetah Delgado. Howard posted five 30-point games en route to earning All-America honors from the Associated Press and Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Delgado had a remarkable year at the point guard spot, breaking the single-season record for assists at FSU with 216 and averaging the most by an ACC player (7.43) since the 2007-08 season.
The blue-collar, hard-working nature of the 2013-14 team resulted in a 21-12 overall record and the program's 11th straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament Second Round following a win at No. 7 seed Iowa State in the Stanford Regional.
FSU has won at least one game in its last 12 NCAA Tournament appearances, the second-longest active win streak in the ACC behind Duke.
White was promoted to associate head coach prior to the 2012-13 season and his game planning and strategy took the Garnet and Gold offense to heights it hadn't seen in over 20 years.
Florida State finished in the top 10 nationally in both scoring and field goal percentage. The Seminoles' 74.8 points per game average and .453 shooting percentage were their highest marks since the 1991-92 and 1992-93 seasons, respectively. Senior guards Alexa Deluzio and Leonor Rodriguez and junior forward Natasha Howard gave FSU a school-record and an ACC-leading three All-ACC First Team selections, while senior forward Chasity Clayton captured ACC Sixth Player of the Year honors. The Seminoles finished fourth in the league - their seventh top-four finish with White.
Additionally, Florida State captured back-to-back regular season ACC titles in 2010 and 2011, and advanced to the 2010 NCAA Tournament Elite Eight. The 2010-11 season was a culmination of seven consecutive NCAA postseason appearances, all with White on the bench.
Considered by head coach Sue Semrau to be one of the rising stars of the coaching profession when she hired him in 2003, White has helped FSU reach new levels of success and brought an infectious energy to the program.
White has directed the FSU defense and offense during his tenure as well as been one of the country's top recruiters. In 2012, CollegeInsider.com named him one of the nation's Top 20 assistant coaches in the country.
The defensive coordinator for most of his tenure, White added the Seminoles' offense to his direction in 2011. He continues to hold responsibilities with recruiting, film and opponent breakdown in addition to assisting with camps each summer.
Florida State has experienced two of its greatest defensive seasons under White's tutelage as the team set a school record during the 2008-09 campaign by limiting opponents to 61.1 points per game. The Seminoles then broke that record in 2009-10 with a season that saw them hold opponents to just 60.8 points per contest. In 2012-13, the `Noles outscored opponents by 9.8 points per game.
Since White's arrival, many Seminoles have captured unprecedented individual success. Six players have been picked in the WNBA Draft, seven Seminoles have earned ACC All-Defensive team honors and FSU has nabbed 30 all-conference awards. In addition to the four All-ACC honorees in 2012-13, Christian Hunnicutt was named the ACC Defensive Player of the Year in 2011 and Jacinta Monroe was selected No. 6 by the Washington Mystics in the 2010 WNBA Draft. Monroe's selection was surpassed by Howard's No. 5 pick in the 2014 WNBA Draft by the Indiana Fever.
White was well prepared when he arrived at Florida State. He came from Texas Tech where he spent 10 seasons, including seven years as an assistant coach, with the Lady Raiders' top-10 program under legendary head coach Marsha Sharp.
Some of White's responsibilities at Texas Tech included individual workouts, scouting reports, perimeter and post player development and all aspects of recruiting, including mail correspondence and recruiting visits. White also served as the academic liaison for the women's basketball team, directing study hall and monitoring academic progress while also handling player relations.
During White's time in Lubbock, Texas Tech won three Big 12 Championships and advanced to seven-straight NCAA Tournaments, including five Sweet 16 and two Elite Eight appearances. He was a student assistant on Tech's 1993 National Championship team and a graduate assistant coach for two seasons before being elevated to a full-time coach.
While in Lubbock, Texas, White worked with some of the best players the game has ever seen. Among the players he influenced were National Player of the Year and three-time WNBA Player of the Year Sheryl Swoopes and also Plenette Pierson, who was named 2007 WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year.
A 1996 graduate of Texas Tech, White earned his bachelor's degree in exercise and sports science. He went on to receive a Master's Degree in sports administration in August of 1998. He attended Lubbock Christian University for three semesters before transferring to Texas Tech in January of 1993. As a high school athlete in Spur, he was a three-time All-District selection, two-time All-Region, and two-time third team all-state choice in basketball. His high school basketball and football teams advanced to the regional round both his junior and senior years. In addition to his football and basketball accolades, he was listed in the Spalding Top 100 tennis players in 1991.
White is an NCAA certified recruiter and member of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association. He is married to the former Melanie Smith, who is a professor at Florida A&M University. The Whites are the proud parents of Quentin and Vivian.