Former Arkansas Tech Ryan White Passes Away

FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE

SOUTHAVEN, Miss. – The Gulf South Conference lost a member of its baseball alumni Monday afternoon when former Arkansas Tech first baseman and Ouachita Baptist assistant coach Ryan White sadly lost his life in a single car accident near Hernando, Miss. He was 27 years old.

According to DeSoto County (Miss.) Coroner Jeff Pounders, White was traveling northbound on I-55 when his Nissan sport-utility vehicle left the east side of the road and rolled into the trees. He was ejected from the vehicle and was pronounced dead on the scene. The son of Tommy and Jan White, Ryan lived in a familiar place for GSC fans, Southaven, Miss. The Conference hosts its basketball and softball tournaments in the city and the GSC Baseball Tournament is in Millington, Tenn., just 30 miles northeast

“We are deeply saddened by the tragic passing of Ryan White,” said Arkansas Tech Athletic Director Steve Mullins. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to Ryan’s family.”

White, a three-time member of the All-GSC team, played first base for the Wonder Boys from 2002-05. The Hot Springs, Ark. native captured First Team All-Conference accolades in 2003 and 2005 while leading ATU to the GSC Tournament in his junior and senior campaigns. In his final three seasons, the Wonder Boys won at least 20 games each year and reeled off 31 victories in 2004 as White was named to the All-GSC Second Team. The first baseman left Russellville as the school’s all-time leader in hits (250) and total bases (381). His 59 doubles, also a school record, are tied for sixth-most in GSC history. In addition, White is tied for the most career walks in ATU history and his 75 hits in 2003 are tied for the second-most in a season by a Wonder Boy.

After his playing career, the Lakeside High School graduate spent three seasons as an assistant to Head Coach Scott Norwood at Ouachita Baptist (2006-08). In the four seasons before Norwood arrived, the Tigers were a combined 40-147 before finishing the 2005 campaign, 26-27. After the hiring of White as an assistant, the Tigers went 132-50 with three GSC Tournament appearances in three seasons, became the first team since 1995 to dethrone Delta State as West Division champions, hosted the South Central Region tournament in 2007 and finished as National Runner-Up in 2008. Former OBU first baseman Destan Makonnen thrived under White’s tutelage and was named First Team All-GSC in 2007 and 2008 and was the GSC West Division Co-Player of the Year in 2008.

Former OBU Sports Information Director Brian Howard was White’s roommate on road trips during the 2008 season and the two formed a friendship.

“Having spent a year with Ryan while at OBU, he was always a caring friend,” Howard said. “Even after the season was over and the team and coaches went their separate ways, Ryan kept in contact with me. He loved the game of baseball but really spent time getting to know people and seeing their strengths. He was a great friend and will be missed, not just as an Alum of Arkansas Tech, but by everyone that knew him.”

White was named head baseball coach of Senatobia High School (Miss.) following the 2008 season and was also in charge of the cross country team while serving as a health and physical education teacher.

  • http://thecollegebaseballblog.com Donald J. Boyles

    Brian,

    Very Sad!

  • http://thecollegebaseballblog.com Brian Foley

    Terrible news, I have talked to Brian Howard on a few occasions and he is a real standup guy. If Mr. Howard says those great things about Ryan, then this is a bad loss for the College Baseball community.