Pat White never dreamed of becoming a coach, but once his playing days were over, he eventually found himself embarking on coaching career that’s taken him all the way back to the NFL.
The WVU legend was recently interviewed by Eric Smith, a senior writer for the Los Angeles Chargers. This was done to help fans get to know a member of the team’s coaching staff.
White answered honestly, opening up about his plans for the future, how he reflects back on his sensational college career at West Virginia, if he believes he was ahead of his time and would have more success as an NFL quarterback in today’s game and even if he played as himself in video games.
Remember Pat White? The dynamic, dual-threat QB at West Virginia who took college football by storm?
He's been on the #Chargers coaching staff for almost a year now.
— Eric Smith (@Eric_L_Smith) May 30, 2023
What led White, someone focused on playing football his entire life, into coaching? “Everything in the universe threw me back in this direction. I tried hard, after what proceeded to be a failed career, to distance myself from the sport. But everything in life pulled me right back to it. I was blessed enough to have a former teammate, Ryan Stanchek, who stayed on me until I got into coaching. He helped me get into it,” said White.
The now 37-year-old Daphne, Alabama native began his coaching career in 2018, four years after his final professional season in the CFL. He started out as a quarterbacks coach at Alcorn State, and is now in the midst of his second season as an offensive assistant with the Chargers.
So What is Pat White’s Role with the Chargers?
Over the years, White has mostly spent time coaching quarterbacks, and even as a running backs coach, but what is his exact role today in Los Angeles?
“Any and everything that any offensive coach needs or any player needs. I’m willing and able to assist them whatever capacity that may be. A lot of the pre-practice, it’s making sure the data is up to date and everybody has what they need,” While explained. “Out here [at practice] I am spending most of my time with receivers. In the building it varies. Whoever needs assistance.”
That’s the past and present of White as a coach, but what are his goals for the future? White hopes to be a head coach someday.
Could White be a Future Head Coach?
“I want to be a head coach. It starts with working my way into the quarterback room, becoming a coordinator and be a head coach. We’re going through the proper steps and proper channels,” White revealed.
Unfortunately for White, his dominance as a player in college did not translate to the NFL. White classifies his NFL playing career after being drafted in the second round of the 2009 NFL Draft as a failure.
But was White just ahead of his time? Could he have been viewed as a Lamar Jackson type and offered a better opportunity if he was coming out of college today? This has been something many have wondered due many NFL teams building around dual-threat quarterbacks throughout the last decade.
White didn’t take the bait, sidestepping this question and refusing to dwell in a “what if?” of the past.
“I think Coach Pat White is perfect for the NFL where the game is going right now. I’m grateful for the position I am. I’m definitely honored to be in it.”
No matter where the future takes Coach White, he will always be known as one of the greatest college quarterbacks of all-time thanks to his success as a Mountaineer.
White Embraces His WVU Greatness
So how does White look back on his college years now? “A lot of exciting times. But obviously, as a competitor and an athlete, you remember the good times with your teammates, but also the let downs on the field. We had a lot of wins. A great career. We didn’t finish the way we should have. I’m here to make that happen,” he said.
While it’s not possible for White to go back and relive college in reality, he can do it by playing video games. The only problem is White never got into playing video games. In fact, he boycotted playing as himself once he saw he was in accurately portrayed as a right handed quarterback.
“Here’s what is funny. I was excited as heck to play it. Getting out of summer workouts, I think it was 2007 NCAA. You crack it open and play with West Virginia. I’m already in the game. I go to take a snap … and I’m right-handed. I’m like, ‘Nope.’ So I boycotted it and refused to play it.”
Even though White embraces being college football royalty, admitting some of his players occasionally bring up his heroics at West Virginia, it’s also clear the WVU football legend and family man (his wife is expecting their fourth child) is content with how both his personal and professional life ended up.
As Mountaineers Nation is well aware, White is widely recognized as one of the most explosive and accomplished players in college football history. While at West Virginia, he was named Big East Offensive Player of the Year back-to-back seasons (2006-07). He led them to a 35-8 record and became the first quarterback to start and win four bowl games in program history.
Statistically, White threw for 6,051 yards and 56 touchdowns and ran for 4,480 yards and 47 scores on the ground, which set a then-NCAA record for rushing yards by a quarterback. White was honored a first-team All-Big East (2006-08) player three out of his four years as a starter in college. He was inducted into the West Virginia University Sports Hall of Fame in 2018.
Following his record-setting career at West Virginia, White did receive a chance at playing in the NFL after being selected by the Miami Dolphins in the second round of the 2009 NFL Draft. He played in 13 games as a rookie and spent part of the 2013 season with Washington. White also spent time with the Virginia Destroyers of the United Football League (2011) and the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League (2014).
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