As a coach, White served at Southeast Missouri State University (1981–1982) as the head track and field coach, and as assistant track and field and cross country coach at Central Michigan University (1976–1980). His coaching career started at Gulf High School as the cross country and track coach and assisting with the football and wrestling programs. While at Loras College he originated the National Catholic Basketball Tournament.
Notre Dame's flagship football program struggled during White's tenure. Notre Dame football teams have started 0–3 only two times in the school's history: in 2001 (the season after White negotiated an extension of coach Bob Davie's contract) and 2007 (two seasons after White negotiated an extension of coach Charlie Weis's contract).