TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (May 4, 2015) – The Mark White era begins for TCC basketball. The TCC Athletic department officially introduced its new basketball coach front of fans, players, and faculty in a press conference at the Bill Hebrock Eagledome.
White was picked from a pool of more than 350 coaches who applied for the head coaching position to replace Eddie Barnes who is retiring.
Sporting a blue shirt and gold tie, White called the opportunity at Tallahassee Community College a “destination.”
“This is where I want to be, this is where I want to stay for the rest of my career,” said White, who comes to Tallahassee following a highly-successful eight-year stint at East Mississippi Community College, where he compiled a 161-66 record (.709 winning percentage) from 2007-15 and led the Lions to four consecutive berths in the NJCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship from 2010-13.
White has crossed paths with the Eagles on occasion during his 25-year coaching career, 23 of which has come at the collegiate level.
In 1997, as an assistant at North Idaho College, he witnessed the highest-scoring game in the history of the NJCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, a record that still stands today – a 121-116 overtime loss to Tallahassee in the tournament’s third-place game.
Sixteen years later, in 2013, White brought his East Mississippi squad to Tallahassee and defeated the Eagles, 79-70, as part of the Best Western Holiday Classic. The Lions returned to Tallahassee this past December for the annual event and played two more games, though they didn’t match up with the Eagles.
Chaney acknowledged the two most recent opportunities gave him a unique opportunity to evaluate White and his coaching style, as well as how he relates to his student-athletes and coaches. Landing a coach, he says, with such a strong resume is a bonus.
“I believe the win-loss record is a by-product of successfully identifying someone of high character, who is passionate about and committed to the success of the student-athlete,” Chaney added. “Mark surpassed each benchmark desired in our candidate, and I believe he and Tallahassee Community College are an ideal fit for one another.”
White succeeds Eddie Barnes, who will officially retire June 30. Barnes coached the Eagles from 2001-15.