Meet the SEC's Top Athletic Director

National championships and premiere NIL collectives may be the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of the top athletic directors. There is another however in Knoxville that is not necessarily top of the pile in either of these categories, but results provde that it would be very hard to argue against Danny White being the top athletic director in the SEC.
Tennessee v LSU
Tennessee v LSU / Jonathan Bachman/GettyImages
1 of 3

The verdict is in. Prompted by listening to a podcast episode by host, Eric Cain of LockedOn Vols in which Cain voiced his thoughts on current Tennessee Volunteers athletic director, Danny White.

This combined with my own thoughts, as well as a tweet I sent out yesterday asking every fan base how they felt about their athletic director led me to the conclusion that Danny White is the man, and the best athletic director in the SEC.

While others like Keith Carter at Ole Miss and Brooks at Georgia are right up there as well, based on track record of hires, it is without a doubt that Danny White sits atop the SEC as the best athletic director in my opinion.

Here are Danny Whites' Hires that make Him Stand out as the Best Athletic Director in the SEC

Nate Oats (University at Buffalo)

While he is known today as being the head basketball coach for the Alabama Crimson Tide, few may know that Oats actually began his head coaching career at the division one level for men’s basketball at the University at Buffalo in the 2016 season for the Bulls.

The athletic director that hired him was Danny White. Oats would go on to lead the Bulls to three NCAA tournament appearances in his four seasons as head coach before taking the job in Tuscaloosa.

His time at Buffalo was highlighted by a 32-4 season in 2019 with a second round NCAA tournament appearance before losing to the eventual national champion runner-up Texas Tech Red Raiders who were coached at the time by current Ole Miss coach, Chris Beard. They finished 15th in the final AP poll.

Before Oats got there, the Bulls had only made the NCAA tournament one time since they began competing in program history. Since Oats has left, they have not been back.

Oats’ combined record with the Bulls was 96-43.

Bobby Hurley (University at Buffalo)

Although not Danny Hurley who just won back-to-back national championships with the UConn Huskies, Bobby was no slouch of a hire and coach either and came at the hands of White back in 2013, which was his first hire at athletic director at the division one level. Hurley spent two seasons in Buffalo, leading the Bulls to their first ever NCAA tournament appearance in 2014.

Hurley would go 42-20 in two season as the school, putting them on the map.