« Football 2017

Mike White


Western Kentucky

Recreation and Sport Administration


In May 2017, Mike White earned an undergraduate degree in sport management with a 3.23 GPA, becoming the first male in his family to graduate from college. He is currently pursuing a graduate degree in recreation and sport administration with a concentration in intercollegiate athletic administration while competing in his final year of eligibility.


White was voted the offensive team captain for the 2017 season by his teammates. He has evolved as a team leader since starting for WKU in 2016.  When new head coach, Mike Sanford, was hired over the winter, he and White had a discussion about his leadership. Said Coach Sanford: “I told him he’s going to be asked to be a significant leader on this team. I wanted him to know he’s going to have to be uncomfortable at times, but he doesn’t have to completely change his stripes. A genuine and authentic leader isn’t somebody who puts on a front of somebody they’re not. You need to lead to your own strengths and then day-by-day put yourself slightly more out there.”

White has been an advocate for causes such as the Stand For the Silent anti-bullying campaign and Spread the Word to End the Word to encourage people not to use the “R” word.


White has a passion for volunteering his time with children, which stemmed from the relationship with his girlfriend, Mallory, whom he met during his time at the University of South Florida. Mallory teaches autistic students in Tampa, and White looks forward to the opportunity to visit her classroom when he’s back in his hometown. With that hands-on experience, combined with his motivation to help others, being a student-athlete at WKU and living in Bowling Green, White accepted the opportunity to further his investment in helping others.

White said the following about the Hilltoppers with Heart program: “I always want to get involved because it helps me stay grounded. Sometimes you’re 100 percent football all the time and you kind of miss out on the things going on around you. So you go out in the community and help those who are less fortunate; you help kids who would love to be in our situation.”

When seeing White in volunteer opportunities, Head Coach Mike Sanford notices something special about the young man. “He’s got a great way about him,”  said Sanford. “People like being around him because he’s genuine, he’s not trying to be someone who he’s not. Mike knows he’s the most recognizable player on this football team, but he’s not trying to get out front and be on the news or anything like that. He just likes being around people and love them and show them he cares.”


White earned seven watch list honors prior to the 2017 season and was named preseason Conference USA Offensive Player of the Year after earning 2016 Conference USA Newcomer of the Year.

White had the unenviable task of following up WKU’s all-everything quarterback Brandon Doughty and responded in dynamic fashion, leading an offensive attack that led the FBS in points per game (45.5) and was No. 3 in passing efficiency (174.87), No. 5 in total offense (523.1) and No. 5 in passing offense (336.8). White finished his first campaign on The Hill No. 3 nationally in passing efficiency (181.4) and passing yards per completion (15.58), which were both the top marks in Conference USA.

White completed 280 of 416 passes for 4,363 yards with 37 touchdowns and just seven interceptions in 2016. His eight games of 300 yards or more passing were fifth-most nationally, and his 76 completions of 68 yards or more were second-most nationally. He led the nation in passing completions of 30 yards (44) and 40 yards (24) or more. White joined Doughty as the only quarterbacks in school history to eclipse the 4,000 yard mark in a season while his 181.39 passer rating set a single-season school record. White had a completion percentage of 65 percent or better in eight games, and against C-USA opponents, he was even more lethal, completing 71.1 percent of his passes for 25 touchdowns and just two interceptions.