David White PSHOF Member

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Coach David White (R) with Coach Bill Gray with Oceana football years
David White came to Northern California in 1976 and enrolled at San Francisco State University where he played football. Following graduation, he played semi-professional football with the San Jose Tigers. A leg injury ended his career, so he went back to school and received his Master’s Degree in Biblical Studies in 1999.
In 1983, White moved to Pacifica. He was hired as the head coach of the Oceana High School junior varsity basketball team. In 1984, the team was the first ever to win a junior varsity league championship.
He was then an assistant coach to Bill Gray at both Oceana and Terra Nova.
“A defensive specialist, his strengths lie in creating attack-mode defensive scheme and the teaching of ‘turnover conscious’ techniques within those schemes,” said Gray. “The defenses he has created and the players he has guided within his defense framework have all experienced great success.”
While at Oceana, White designed defenses that earned the Sharks prestigious victories, such as a win over Encinal High School of Alameda, a team that had not lost a game in two and half years; a first ever shutout over South San Francisco; and an “Anchor Game” win over Terra Nova in 1987, ending an eight-year drought against their cross-town rival.
David Shelton, a 1985 Oceana graduate, and PSHOF member, calls White his mentor, saying, “There is no better mind in regards to football knowledge, on both sides of the ball; his attention to detail in regards to technical aspects is unmatched.”
In 1992, moving to Terra Nova, his line-backing corps was outstanding for the 7-2-1 season. The team led the league with 20 interceptions, including five in the game against Jefferson.
Neil Vassar, who played on that 1992 team and was also the league’s Back of the Year, credits White for the success of the defensive unit, saying, “Coach White worked with us on numerous drills that made us better players. This hard work and dedication paid off as our team led the league in takeaways and three players were named to the all-league team. It was Coach White who impressed upon me the skills that allowed me to earn the award.”
Over the years of coaching, David enhanced a football development skills program for student athletes. He developed a handbook on the skills of coaching, discipline, training and marketing.
Later, while coaching at Wilson High School in San Francisco, White implemented a creative athletic and academic program for 24 low-income at-risk athletes. Twelve of the 24 student athletes enrolled in the program made the honor roll, and the others established a 2.0 grade point average or better. The team won its first AAA football City championship. It was the first time the school had ever advanced to the playoff.
In 2003, White went to Mendocino Community College as a defensive coordinator. The team had 45 takeaways, was third for Northern California community colleges in interceptions, while setting a single game record of six in one game. As a team they had 19 interceptions.
In 1998, David was inducted into the SFSU Gridiron Hall of Fame.
The true testament of White is not one of coach, but confidant and advocate. Former players coached by him call from all over the country to thank him for the techniques he taught, as well as just being there for them during what can be very trying and difficult times in the lives of high school student athletes.
Today, at age 60, he works at San Quentin Prison as a programmer, but still aspires to get back into coaching.