Duke AD Kevin White named 2014 recipient of NFF John L. Toner Award
Posted June 10
Durham, N.C. — The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced today that Duke University Vice President and Director of Athletics Dr. Kevin White has been named the 2014 recipient of the NFF John L. Toner Award. Presented annually by the NFF, the Toner Award recognizes an athletic director who has demonstrated superior administrative abilities and shown outstanding dedication to college athletics and particularly college football.
“Under Kevin’s guidance, Duke has continued to excel both on and off the field,” said NFF President and CEO Steve Hatchell. “Since White took over in 2008, the Blue Devils football program has achieved national prominence and the athletics department has seen substantial growth overall. His accomplishments place him at the forefront of his profession and make him truly worthy of this prestigious honor.”
Hired by Duke President Richard Brodhead in 2008, White made an immediate impact on Duke Athletics, leading the department to excellence in competition and reshaping the organization into a more efficient and modern department. His consistent outreach efforts have strengthened ties with key constituencies on both the campus and in the community, and his marketing acumen has successfully led Duke’s fundraising and corporate sponsorship efforts that have significantly enhanced the department’s revenue streams during an economic downturn.
Coach David Cutcliffe and the Blue Devils football program have seen unprecedented success during White’s tenure in Durham. In 2013, Duke won 10 games for the first time in school history as the Blue Devils reached the ACC Championship Game against the eventual national champion Florida State. In 2012, Duke went to its first bowl game since 1994, officially beginning the school’s football renaissance. Two Blue Devils have been recognized as NFF National Scholar-Athletes under White’s leadership, including quarterback Sean Renfree in 2012 and offensive lineman Perry Simmons in 2013.
White spearheaded the launch of a $250 million athletics initiative in 2012, with $100 million earmarked for several athletic facilities, including plans to expand the seating and improve the facilities in and around Wallace Wade Stadium. He also oversaw the addition of Pascal Field House, an 80,000-square foot indoor training facility featuring a 120-yard football playing surface that opened in 2011.
Since White’s arrival, Duke has captured six NCAA Championships and 15 ACC titles, while 75 Blue Devil teams advanced to NCAA postseason competition. Individually, 165 student-athletes have earned All-American status, 278 All-ACC and 171 All-Region or District honors the past five years.
Academically, Duke teams have continued to excel under White’s watch. In 2014, eight of Duke's teams posted perfect scores of 1000 in the Academic Progress Report (APR) data released by the NCAA, and 14 of the Blue Devils' squads have been honored by the NCAA for placing among the top 10 percent in their respective sports nationally, including the Blue Devil football program, which ranked first among all FBS schools and second among all Division I programs.
White joined the Duke after leading the University of Notre Dame’s athletics program from 2000-08, and he served as president of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) in 2006-07. He has received multiple awards, including the Sports Business Awards Athletic Director of the Year in 2014, and he was one of four NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision recipients of the Under Armour Athletics Director of the Year Award presented by NACDA in 2013, having previously claimed the award in 2006 while at Notre Dame. White has also served as athletics director at Arizona State University, Tulane University, the University of Maine and Loras College in Iowa.
White earned his Ph.D. from Southern Illinois University in 1983 with an emphasis on higher education administration. In 1985, he completed postdoctoral work at Harvard University’s Institute for Educational Management. He earned his master’s degree in athletics administration from Central Michigan University in 1976 and his bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1972 from St. Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, Ind., where he also competed as a sprinter. White and his wife, Jane, have five children and 10 grandchildren.
White will be honored at the 57th NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 9 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. White will accept his award alongside the recipients of the other NFF Major Award, including Frank Beckmann, the recipient of the Chris Schenkel Award for excellence in broadcasting, as well as the yet-to-be-announced recipients of the NFF Gold Medal, NFF Distinguished American Award and NFF Outstanding Contribution to Amateur Football Award.
In addition to the presentation of the NFF Major Awards, the 57th NFF Annual Awards Dinner will provide the stage for the induction of the 2014 College Football Hall of Fame Class; the presentation of the 2014 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards, presented by Fidelity Investments; and the bestowing of the 25th NFF William V. Campbell Trophy to the nation’s top scholar-athlete.
This year’s College Football Hall of Fame Class includes: Dre Bly (North Carolina), Tony Boselli (Southern California), Dave Butz (Purdue), Shane Conlan (Penn State), Joe Hamilton (Georgia Tech), John Huard (Maine) Darrin Nelson (Stanford), Willie Roaf (Louisiana Tech), John Sciarra (UCLA), Sterling Sharpe (South Carolina), Leonard Smith (McNeese State), Derrick Thomas (Alabama), LaDainian Tomlinson (TCU), Wesley Walls (Mississippi) and coaches Mike Bellotti (Chico State [Calif.], Oregon) and Jerry Moore (North Texas, Texas Tech and Appalachian State). The 2014 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class, presented by Fidelity Investments, will be announced on Oct. 30, and the winner of the Campbell Trophy will be announced live at the event on Dec. 9.
Recipients of the NFF John L. Toner Award include:
2014 – Kevin White (Loras [Iowa], Maine, Tulane, Arizona State, Notre Dame, Duke)
2013 – Joe Castiglione (Missouri, Oklahoma)
2012 – Mal Moore (Alabama)
2011 – No Honoree
2010 – Robert E. Mulcahy III (Rutgers)
2009 – Jim Weaver (UNLV, Western Michigan, Virginia Tech)
2008 – Gene Smith (Eastern Michigan, Iowa State, Arizona State, Ohio State)
2007 – Jeremy Foley (Florida)
2006 – DeLoss Dodds (Kansas State, Texas)
2005 – Jack Lengyel (Fresno State, Missouri, Navy)
2004 – Vince Dooley (Georgia)
2003 – John Clune (Air Force)
2003 – Andy Geiger (Brown, Penn, Stanford, Maryland, Ohio State)
2002 – Bill Byrne (Oregon, Nebraska, Texas A&M)
2001 – Milo R. "Mike" Lude (Kent State, Washington, Auburn)
2000 – Frank Broyles (Arkansas)
1999 – Jake Crouthamel (Syracuse)
1998 – Doug Dickey (Tennessee)
1997 – John L. Toner (Connecticut)