Former Athletic Director Gavin White Jr., who worked at Temple for 30 years as a coach, administrator and professor, died on Sunday, at 93.
White is known for hiring renowned Temple Men’s basketball coach John Chaney in 1982 and for leading the Temple Men’s track to an undefeated season and its first Middle Atlantic Conference Championship in 1966.
“Gavin White Jr. was totally committed to the success of our student-athletes in every way,” President Richard M. Englert said in a university release. “I had the honor of working with Gavin during his Temple career and know he ran a program that had the highest integrity at every level.”
“Much of the success that we have today in our athletics program is built on the dedication Gavin showed during his 30 years of service. We have lost one of the most revered members of the Temple family,” Englert said.
White began his career as an assistant football coach in 1956. As the coach of the freshman team, White also led the Owls to their an undefeated season ten years later. After serving as associate athletic director from 1966 to 1982, White was promoted to athletic director until 1986.
“He was somebody who, when I struggled mightily in my first year, would put his arms around me – game after game like I was one of his kids,” Chaney said in the release. “He was a great man, who loved teaching and working at Temple. He was very special and cared about the kids.”
White also taught as a professor in the school’s physical education and dance department and served as President of the Temple’s Faculty Club.
He was inducted into the Temple Athletics Hall of Fame in 1980.
White is survived by three children, including Gavin White III, who coached Temple Men’s crew for 37 years before retiring in 2016.
“Gavin White’s name is revered by Temple athletics,” Athletic Director Patrick Kraft said in the release. “The hard work, ethics and integrity he displayed during his time as an athletics administrator remains to this day. He will be deeply missed, but never forgotten.”