White let go by Trinity

Published 12:03 am Wednesday, October 1, 2014

After signing a one-year contract in August to coach the Trinity Saints men’s basketball team, Edwin White was fired by the school Friday.

Athletic director and head football coach Zach Rogel will coach basketball in White’s place, alongside defensive coordinator Chris Bunio.

Though Headmaster Les Hegwood said he could not discuss White’s contract, he said he and Rogel agreed the decision to fire White was made to keep faculty coaches more involved instead of having someone come in and coach off campus.

Email newsletter signup

“We have a mission at this school, and we feel we can better execute that mission with Rogel and Bunio,” Hegwood said. “The energy Coach Rogel and Coach Bunio put forth in football solidified why we want them to be carried over as basketball coaches.

“Nothing against Coach White, as I’ll be the first to say he was wonderful in everything he did, but with a small school like this, compartmentalization is a detriment for the whole sports program.”

White was devastated when he heard the news and felt he was served injustice.

“When you commit to a parent, coach or a student, your word should be good,” said White, who went 22-0 in the regular season last year. “Breaking contracts is not how you do business. I hope this is not what the integrity of the school has become.”

The 2014 All-Metro Coach of the Year said he turned down coaching opportunities this summer to stay with the Saints, as he made a promise to parents he would return. He signed his contract in August to coach his third season with the Saints, and turned it in within a 10-day period for what he called a “binding deal.”

White said he was worried how the school’s decision would affect players like Tommy McCoy, who has drawn interest from colleges such as Ole Miss.

“You’re hurting the kids in this situation,” White said. “You need to have people there who are capable of taking these players to the next level, someone who’s very knowledgeable. It’s very unfair to the kid, and I don’t think it was thought out.”

Hegwood said what Rogel lacks in basketball coaching experience will be made up with energy and cohesiveness that the coaching staff will facilitate.

“Rogel and Bunio will prepare them for excellence in life, and all of these kids will be professionally developed,” Hegwood said. “That is our mission. I have full confidence that Rogel will promote Tommy better, or as better, as anybody has in the past.”

White said he likely would not coach this basketball season for any school and could not comment on if legal action was being pursued.