Emmitsburg, Md. — One of the most accomplished players to don a Southern Vermont College basketball jersey continues to enjoy success on the court.
Antoine White was named as the head coach of Division I Mount St. Mary’s women’s basketball team earlier this week.
White, who played for SVC from 2014-2016, was promoted from associate head coach after former coach Maria Marchesano left to take the head coaching position at Purdue University Fort Wayne.
During his time on the court in Bennington, White helped lead SVC to an ECAC championship in 2015 and NECC championship in 2016. White is the all-time career assists leader for SVC, tallying 242 during his three-year stint.
A Maryland native, White has fond memories of his time in Southern Vermont.
“Honestly, it was the best three years of my life. It was so much fun up there,” White said. “We just had such a special group together and all of us really connected well off the court. We had guys from so many different backgrounds, but we really formed a brotherhood up there. We all still talk, we all still have our group chats going.”
Mount St. Mary’s athletics are known as ‘the Mount.’ It may be time to refer to the basketball program as the SVC of the Mid-Atlantic, as both the men’s and women’s coaches have ties to the former college.
Dan Engelstad coached at SVC from 2013-18 and recruited White to Bennington to help turn the program around. Engelstad just wrapped up his third year as the head coach for the men’s basketball team at Mount St. Mary’s, earning a NCAA tournament bid after capturing the Northeast Conference title.
White feels comfort in knowing that his former coach and now colleague is in the same building.
“Him and I grew up together in our time together at SVC,” White said. “I know he’s always got my best interest, so he’s definitely going to be a very good resource for me.”
Engelstad called White, 32, “a rising star” and “one of the bright young coaches in the game” in a prior interview.
White’s coaching career has been on an upward trajectory since graduating from SVC in 2016 and taking an intern role with the Mount women’s basketball program that summer.
“My plan that summer was to get hired here,” White said. “I came in and got to work right away.”
Five years later, he is officially the head of the program. White takes over as one of the youngest coaches in Division I women’s basketball.
“I know this kind opportunity doesn’t come around very often,” White said. “There’s people that have been in this game for 10-15 years and they’re not fortunate enough to get the opportunity that I have. I’ve really just been working on my craft and that’s really helped me develop into this leadership role.”
White takes pride in his individual workouts and overall player development. Those traits helped him land a full time assistant coach role in 2016, and later the associate head coach position in 2019 under Marchesano.
White credits Marchesano for entrusting him to take over defensive responsibilities as well as an added influence in player development over the past few years for the Mount. The former SVC leader believes the added responsibility Marchesano allowed him to have helped speed up his development as a coach.
“Coach Maria has meant so much to me, to my development in my career. We’re sad to see her go, but so excited about this new chapter in her career,” White said.
White takes over a program that is coming off its first March Madness appearance since 1995. Mount St. Mary’s finished the season 17-7 and were knocked out in the first round of the NCAA Tournament after a loss to No. 2 Maryland.
“She’s done an excellent job and she’s built a winning culture here, competitive culture here,” White said of Marchesano. “Now it’s my job to continue to build on what we’ve been working on so hard for, for the last three years.”
White is ready to forge his own path off the foundation his successor has set for him.
“It would be foolish of me to duplicate every single thing that she did, because that wouldn’t be authentic. I wouldn’t be who I am,” White said. “I want to continue to do what’s gotten me to this position right now.”
White is ready to get to work after officially being named the seventh head coach in Mount St. Mary’s women’s basketball program history.
“I’m excited to get to work with the team,” White said.
“The sport of basketball has been great to me. Ever since I’ve picked up a basketball, I’ve been really fortunate to do a lot of winning,” he said. “It’s just something that I’ve always had so much passion for.”