February 27, 2020
TROY, AL- Pike Liberal Arts School names Saban’s special assistant Mario White as Athletic Director and Head Football Coach.
The announcement came earlier today at a pep rally where the Patriot varsity basketball teams were celebrated for their runs in the AISA Class AAA state playoffs. The varsity boys were recognized for their State Runners-Up finish, and the varsity girls were recognized for their Region Championship and Final Four appearance. PLAS Headmaster Eric Burkett told the students there was more reason to celebrate.
After an introduction highlighting his background and success, Coach Mario White entered the gym to a white shaker frenzy, and a background banner painted with “Every Heart Beats True for the Red, WHITE and Blue.”
“I am thankful for the opportunities that God has given me to coach and mentor kids of all ages to not only to become better athletes but to also become better students and even better young adults,” White said.
“We are going to work hard and work honest on and off the field. I am excited to play a leadership role in elevating the standard of excellence from classroom to competition. People will know when they come up that hill that THIS IS PIKE!”
Coach White and his family are moving from Tuscaloosa where he was on staff at the University of Alabama as a strength and conditioning coach under Scott Cochran and a special assistant to Nick Saban. Coach White coached football at Tuscaloosa Academy and previously coached at Stillman College. Coach White received his degree from Samford University, where he played baseball on full scholarship.
PLAS Chairman of the Board of Trustees, John Henderson, explained that the hire came after an extensive search for not only a champion coach, but also an esteemed man of character.
“During the interview process, it became apparent that Coach White is a man of faith and high integrity,” Henderson said. “He sets a standard of respect and excellence both on and off the field and he has an obvious gift for motivating young people. I am confident that Coach White will be a leader that will inspire our student athletes.”
Festivities to celebrate the announcement include a Meet and Greet with the White family that will be held at 3:00 p.m. today in the PLAS gym foyer.
“We encourage our entire Pike family to join us for cake and get to know Coach White, his wife Bridget and his three children: Mayes (11th grade) Amity (9th grade) and Ivy (8th grade),” Burkett said. “We are excited to have Coach White and his family here, and are looking forward to success under his leadership.”
After the informal reception, Coach White will be throwing out the first pitch as the back-to-back Class AAA State Champion Patriots take on defending Class AA State Champion The Lakeside School Chiefs at 4 p.m. The Lady Patriots and Lady Chiefs will also play at 4 p.m.
Founded in 1970, Pike Liberal Arts School is a member of the Alabama Independent School Association (AISA) that offers competitive Class AAA athletic programs and quality academic, leadership and cultural arts opportunities for K4-12 grades while using faith-based curriculum and enrichment.