Florida Southern College Director of Athletics Pete Meyer has announced the hiring of Lee White as the Moccasins' new head men's golf coach. White, who has spent eight years with the program as a student-athlete and assistant coach, is being elevated to the position of head coach following the retirement of Doug Gordin.
"We are excited to name Lee White as the new head coach of the men's golf program at Florida Southern," said Meyer. "There has been a long history of championship success by Charley Matlock and Doug Gordin, and Lee will be charged with continuing that success on the course and in the classroom. I have no doubt the program is in good hands."
During his time as assistant coach, which spanned two seasons from 2012-14 and two more from 2016-18, Florida Southern won the 2017 NCAA Division II National Championship and advanced to medal play at the national finals on two other occasions. One of those was this year when Florida Southern won the stroke play portion of the tournament and reached the national semifinals. The 2018 Moccasins also posted a 283.36 stroke average, their best on record, won four tournaments during the regular season, and were the Sunshine State Conference and South/Southeast Super Regional runner-up.
In addition to Florida Southern's success as a team, White has assisted in the development of two-time individual national champion Tim Crouch, 2018 national champion John VanDerLaan, and three-time national top-five finisher John Coultas. VanDerLaan and Coultas recently completed their college careers as four-time All-Americans who participated in four consecutive national championship tournaments, with each winning national player-of-the-year honors once.
White has also been recognized by the Golf Coaches Association of America as a finalist for the 2018 Jan Strickland Award, which is presented annually to the NCAA, NAIA, or NJCAA assistant coach that has excelled in working with their student-athletes both on the course and in the classroom. White was the only Division II finalist this year, and the first in more than a decade.
"I feel honored and grateful to be taking over as head men's golf coach at Florida Southern College," said White. "The community has been extremely supportive of me and our program, and there is no other place I would rather be. Having played at Florida Southern makes it even more special. I cannot thank Dr. Kerr and Pete Meyer enough for this opportunity. I look forward to continuing the winning tradition that was engrained by coach Charley Matlock, and carried on by my coach, Doug Gordin."
White was a student-athlete at Florida Southern from 2008-12 who played his best golf as a senior when he helped the Moccasins to a runner-up finish in the SSC Tournament and was their top finisher at the super regional. He was second on the team in stroke average that year and ended his college playing career by placing in the top-20 in four of his last five tournaments, including the 2012 super regional where he was 19th.
Originally from Bartow, Florida, White's playing career includes a long list of high finishes in various amateur and professional tournaments throughout Florida. Among the highlights were co-medalist honors at the 2007 Men's State Amateur Qualifier, championships at the 2010 and 2012 Polk County Amateur Tournaments, and a runner-up finish at the 2012 West Florida Pro Golf Tournament while competing as an amateur. Since 2013, he has had five top-20 finishes on either the NGA Hooters, the West Florida Golf, or the Moonlight Golf Tours, with two of those in the top-10.
White becomes just the third man in the last 47 years to lead the nation's most successful NCAA Division II men's golf program. He follows Matlock (1972-95) and Gordin (1996-18), who combined to lead Florida Southern to 13 national championships, the most in Division II history.