What You Need To Know About Tony White

BATON ROUGE, LA – SEPTEMBER 23: Head coach Dino Babers of the Syracuse Orange reacts during the first half of a game against the LSU Tigers at Tiger Stadium on September 23, 2017 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)


Two weeks ago, Syracuse football thought they had their new defensive coordinator in Zach Arnett. Orange fans were then blindsided when it was announced Arnett would be leaving Syracuse to become the defensive coordinator at Mississippi State. After two weeks of searching, it was announced late Tuesday night that Orange have hired Tony White from Arizona State.


So the natural question many Orange fans is who is Tony White? Well White was just recently promoted as defensive coordinator at Arizona State in December 2019. Prior to that White spent the past two seasons in Tempe as the defensive backs coach for the Sun Devils. So why would White suddenly jump ship from Arizona State to Syracuse? Well it seems like he wanted to be closer to his family.


There are two things that stand out with the Orange hiring White. One is that White is going to run the 3-3-5 defense, the same kind of defense Zach Arnett was going to bring to SU from San Diego State. For the past two weeks while Syracuse was looking for a new defensive coordinator, there were questions about if the Orange were going to stick to a 3-3-5 defense or abandon it all together for something else. But now with White running the defense, Orange fans can expect to see the same kind of defense that Arnett was going to run. And speaking for Arnett, it looks like White and Arnett crossed paths with one another in their football careers.

“White came to San Diego State after spending 2008 alongside current Aztec head coach Rocky Long at New Mexico. White was in charge of the Lobos’ linebackers.At UNM, he coached two all-conference linebackers in Zach Arnett and Herbert Felder.”

One last thing to know about White is that he brings to Syracuse a strong recruiting background. So much so that he won national awards for his recruiting back at his time as a coach at San Diego State.


This will be White’s first time being a defensive coordinator in his coaching career considering he was only the coordinator at ASU for less than 2 months. There will still be a lot of questions about Tony White going into the 2020 season, but Orange fans can rest easy and know that FINALLY Syracuse has found their man to run the defense.