Stephanie White has been named the new head coach for Vanderbilt women's basketball program, the university has announced.
White, who currently is serving in her second season as head coach of the WNBA's Indiana Fever, becomes just the fifth all-time head coach in the history of the Vanderbilt program.
“The opportunity to lead Vanderbilt’s women’s basketball program is an opportunity that I simply could not pass up,” White said.” The combination of Vanderbilt’s culture, where achievement – both on and off the court - is so highly valued, together with the institution’s fan support, and a legacy of winning basketball to build upon, is incredibly exciting to me. I appreciate the support and understanding that I have received from the Indiana Fever, from management to the players, regarding my passion to coach college basketball at an elite institution.”
"Above all else, academics, research, scholarship, and service define the Vanderbilt experience, yet we also compete at the highest levels in athletics," Vanderbilt Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos said in announcing White. "Coach White's values align perfectly with those of our university community. I welcome Stephanie to Vanderbilt and look forward to working with her as she leads our women's basketball program to fulfill our goals and highest potential.”
“Stephanie White has been a winner in every phase of her career,” Vanderbilt Director of Athletics David Williams said. “She was the nation’s high school player of the year, she was the NCAA’s Player of the Year on a national championship team and she led her WNBA team into the finals in her first year. She was an outstanding scholar. She wants to coach at Vanderbilt and we believe she is just the person to lead our program back into national prominence."
White—who played five seasons in the WNBA after a decorated playing career at Purdue -- was named head coach for the Fever in September 2014. In 2015, she guided the Fever to the WNBA finals, becoming the first rookie coach in league history to lead a team to the finals.
As a collegiate player, White enjoyed a highly successful career at Purdue, where she earned national Player of the Year honors after helping lead the Boilermakers to the 1999 NCAA championship as a senior. That season, she also received the Wade Trophy (given to the nation's top female player) and was named Big Ten Conference Player of the Year.
She averaged double-figure scoring in all four seasons of her college career, including 20.2 points per game as a senior. White was inducted into the Purdue Athletics Hall of Fame on April 21, 2006.
White was also a star in the classroom at Purdue. She was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and was an Academic All-American.
White has been coaching in the WNBA since 2007, and has also served as a college basketball analyst for ESPN and the Big Ten Network.
She was an assistant coach with the Chicago Sky from 2007-2010, then joined the Fever staff as an assistant in 2011. She was promoted to associate head coach in 2014 before being named head coach after Lin Dunn's retirement.
Prior to coaching in the WNBA, White coached in the college ranks, serving as an assistant at Toledo (2005–07), Kansas State (2004–05) and Ball State (2003–04).
Before beginning her coaching career, White enjoyed a productive five-year WNBA career, spending one season with the Charlotte Sting and four with the Indiana Fever, before retiring in 2004.
At the completion of her four seasons with the Fever, she ranked third in games played (112) and 3-pointers (92), and fourth in scoring (684). She was named to the Fever’s All-Decade Team that was announced in 2009.
At Vanderbilt, White is replacing Melanie Balcomb, who resigned last month after 14 seasons with the Commodores.