After leading the Oregon softball program to the top of the Pac-12, head coach Mike White has now established Oregon as one of the top teams in the country. Not surprisingly, his .779 winning percentage (328-93-1) is the best all-time among Oregon head coaches (No. 2 is .571). In the postseason, the Ducks are 32-15 in seven seasons under White, compared to a 25-21 ledger prior to White’s arrival.
The Ducks won a fourth straight Pac-12 title in 2016 and White was rewarded with his third Pac-12 coach of the year honor. White guided the Ducks to an 80-15-1 record in Pac-12 play during the four-year winning streak, losing just two league series. Under the former pitcher’s guidance, lefty Cheridan Hawkins was named Pac-12 pitcher of the year in 2016, her third straight year taking home the honor. No other pitcher in the long and storied history of the Pac-12 had won the award more than twice. In 2016 the Ducks swept rival Washington for a second straight season and shut out Arizona over a three-game series for the first time in the Wildcats’ history. Oregon hit a NCAA-best .353 in 2016 and also led the Pac-12 with a 2.14 team ERA.
White guided Oregon to its third straight Pac-12 title in 2015 and a program-record 21 conference victories. The Ducks remained a perfect 18-0 in regional games and advanced to their sixth straight Super Regional under White. Oregon made its third Women’s College World Series appearance in the last four years. The Ducks visited their third WCWS under White in 2015. The Ducks won their third straight Pac-12 title after going 21-3 in league play and 51-8 overall. Oregon closed out old Howe Field with a super regional sweep of NC State before moving on to Oklahoma City for the third time in four seasons.
Oregon had a magical run in 2014, as White guided the Ducks to their most successful season in program history with a 56-9-1 record and 20-3-1 Pac-12 mark. Oregon won a program-record 56 games in 2014 while advancing to the WCWS for the third time in program history. The Ducks were the No. 1 team in the nation for the first time in program history as well and held on to the No. 1 ranking in both the NFCA poll and USA Softball poll for the final seven weeks of the regular season. Oregon ended the year ranked No. 3 in both polls after advancing to the semifinals of the WCWS. White was named Pac-12 Coach of the Year for the second straight season after leading the Ducks to their second consecutive Pac-12 title. Oregon did not lose a Pac-12 series in 2014, with a 1-1-1 draw against then No. 3 Arizona State the closest the Ducks came to defeat. Oregon swept Stanford, Oregon State and California but the biggest in 2014 was the program’s first ever sweep of Washington, which ranked No. 5 at the time. The Ducks didn’t sweep No. 1 ranked UCLA, but taking 2-of-3 from the Bruins pushed the to No. 1 in the nation for the first time ever. Oregon’s 20-3-1 record in Pac-12 play was the best in program history as the Ducks outscored league opponents 207-78 in 24 games. Oregon’s offense clicked all season long, but most notably against Oregon State and California. The Ducks scored 11 runs in the first inning against the Beavers in an 18-0 win, just one run off the biggest scoring margin in UO single-game history. Later in the week, White and the Ducks posted 15 runs in the fourth inning against Cal, the most in an inning in UO history, the third most in Pac-12 history and the 10th most in NCAA history. Individually, White saw senior third baseman Courtney Ceo lead the nation in batting average at .493 in 2014 as she also became the all-time UO career leader in hits (288) and runs scored (193).
In 2013, the Pac-12 Coach of the Year led Oregon to its first-ever Pac-12 title, its second-highest overall win total (50), and its best rankings in both coaches polls (No. 3) in the regular season’s final edition. UO advanced to its fourth straight Super Regional appearance (and fourth ever), and were 16-0 at home at Howe Field during the regular season. Overall on the season, Oregon sported a 17-10 mark vs. top-25 foes and a 28-10 ledger vs. NCAA Tournament qualifiers. Team-wise, Oregon led Pac-12 rankings in stolen bases (82), lowest ERA (1.64), lowest opponent batting average (.192), batters struck out (456), fewest hits allowed (283) and fewest walks allowed (96). Three Ducks led Pac-12 individual categories - Janie Takeda (batting, .442; stolen bases, 31; hits, 92), Alexa Peterson (.527) and Cheridan Hawkins (saves, 6; games finished, 19; lowest opposing batting average, .128; games in relief, 20). In national rankings, UO stood top 15 in six categories - win-loss percentage (fourth, .845), ERA (fifth, 1.58), slugging (sixth, .538), batting (ninth, .332), home runs (12th, 1.36 per game) and scoring (13th, 6.31 runs per game). Fueled by one of the nation’s most powerful teams, the squad combined for 80 homers – nine better than the previous school record – and also set school season bests for batting (.329), runs (366) and slugging (.526).
In 2012, UO firmly convinced the nation of its prowess as a elite program with its second-ever Women’s College World Series trip. Oregon racked up its then-second-most wins ever (45), and ended the season ranked a best-ever fifth nationally in both the NFCA and USA Softball polls. The Ducks ranked top 25 all season long after being tabbed No. 14 in both preseason editions (and part of a streak of 42 straight weeks since 2010). In the postseason, UO opened regional play with a 3-0 mark for the third straight year (and successfully hosted its first ever postseason tilts in Eugene). A week later, the Ducks logged their first-ever NCAA Super Regional victories en route to a 2-1 mark and upset at #6 seed Texas. In its first trip in 24 years to the ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City, #11 seed Oregon beat #5 seed Tennessee in the WCWS, while its other hard-fought losses came to #1 and #3 seeds California and Arizona State. Afterwards, two Ducks - Samantha Pappas and Alexa Peterson - were honored to the All-WCWS Team for their impressive stats.
In 2011, the Ducks polished off another amazing season with its second straight year-ending No. 14 national ranking. Earlier in the campaign, UO made its second straight (and ever) Super Regional trip after it scored its then-best Pac-12 Conference finish and record (third-tie, 11-10). UO won nine of its last 12 league tilts and claimed its last four Pac-12 series. The Ducks took three-game sets from No. 12 UCLA and No. 10 Stanford for the first time since 2005 and 2007, claimed its first Civil War sweep of Oregon State since 1994, and took a series from eight-time national champion Arizona for only the third time in the rivalry dating back to 1984.
In 2010, an ESPN national audience watched the upstart Ducks claim their first-ever Super Regional bid to cap an amazing campaign. The Ducks shocked the NCAA Tournament’s eighth seed, Georgia Tech, with 11-2 and 4-3 eight-inning regional wins on the Yellow Jackets’ own turf to advance to Columbia, Mo., to play seventh-seeded Missouri in Supers.
Before his current Duck tenure, Oregon fans also fondly remember his two-season stint as an assistant coach in 2003 and 2004 when his pitchers and catchers helped Oregon advance to an NCAA regional final in both campaigns. Before his collegiate coaching career, White was already well-known in softball circles as an International Softball Congress (ISC) Hall of Fame pitcher and 30-year coaching veteran. As a player, White was a top pitcher on U.S. National teams before he retired in 2007. A New Zealand native, he became a U.S. citizen in 1994 and helped guide the USA to a bronze medal in the 2000 World Championships when he went 2-0 with a 0.89 ERA and 19 strikeouts. In 1999, the U.S. won the silver medal at the Pan Am Games, and he was 3-2 with a 0.68 ERA and 35 strikeouts. Altogether, he has helped teams claim two gold medals, three silver medals and one bronze in his four trips with New Zealand and two with the United States. The Wellington, New Zealand native (11/19/61) earned his bachelor of arts degree in marketing and management from Mount Mercy College (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) in 1989. He is married to the former Lisa Revers, and the couple have three daughters; Nyree (1992), Kenzie (1995) and Sidney (1997).