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.
Sources: Syracuse is hiring ASU DC Tony White as the defensive coordinator. He brings Syracuse the unique 3-3-5 defense from his time at San Diego State, which Dino Babers has targeted for his program.
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) February 5, 2020
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.
In a radio interview with @BurnsAndGambo (and props to those guys for getting him so quickly), Tony White said the opportunity to be closer to his mom in NY was too good to pass up. He was very appreciative of Herm Edwards and his opportunity in Tempe.
— Doug Haller (@DougHaller) February 5, 2020
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.
According to Tony White’s bio at Arizona State, he was “twice named the https://t.co/egK6ZS3DhH Mountain West Recruiter of the Year (while at San Diego St.) also being recognized as one of the Top-5 recruiters in the nation among all Non-Power-5 programs.” He joined ASU in ’18.
— Steve Infanti (@SteveInfantiNC9) February 5, 2020
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.