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Brad White - Football - University of Kentucky Athletics



Brad White enters his seventh season as the outside linebackers coach at Kentucky, and his sixth as the Cats’ defensive coordinator, in 2024. He was elevated to the defensive coordinator position by head coach Mark Stoops in February 2019.

White came to the Bluegrass in 2018, after spending six years with the Indianapolis Colts. Coming in as the outside linebackers coach, White’s NFL experience combined with defensive end Josh Allen’s talent and work ethic allowed for Allen to have one of the greatest seasons in program history in 2018. He won National Defensive Player of the Year honors and was a unanimous All-America First Team selection that season, after leading the team with 88 tackles and pacing the Southeastern Conference in sacks (17.0), tackles for loss (21.5) and forced fumbles (5).

Since White’s first season in Lexington in 2018, Kentucky has steadily become one of the top defenses in the SEC, as UK has put together six consecutive top-45 defenses in the nation, including four top-25 defenses in the nation (2018, 2019, 2021 and 2022).

The Wildcats are coming off their best rush defense season in the Mark Stoops era in 2023, holding opponents to 113.1 yards per game, which ranked second in the conference and 17th in the nation at the end of the season. In fact, the Cats held each of their first five opponents of the season to under 100 yards rushing for the first time in program history, based on game-by-game stats available since the 1940s. White’s defense also ranked top five in the conference and top 25 in the nation in team sacks (2.69) and tackles for loss (6.5) in 2023.

Under White’s training, Kentucky also had an appetite for turnovers, forcing 18 turnovers through 13 games in 2023, which ranked third in the conference. Five of those 18 turnovers came from then-sophomore Maxwell Hairston, who had not one but two interception returns for touchdowns at Vanderbilt on Sept. 24 to tie the SEC record. Those pair of pick-sixes were embedded in UK’s streak of forcing at least one turnover in each of its first seven games of the season, the first time it has accomplished that feat since 2014. Moreover, those 18 turnovers gained allowed UK to record four defensive touchdowns on the season, the second most in the nation.

Thanks to White’s guidance, the Blue and White are currently tied with three other teams for the most interception returns for touchdowns (10) in the nation since 2020.

White coached the defense to one of its best overall performances in program history in 2022.

The Wildcats checked in at second in the SEC and 11th in the nation in total defense to end the season, holding opponents to just 311.4 yards per game through 15 games in 2022. The Cats gave up just 19.2 points per game, which was 13th in the nation. His defense also gave up just 170.8 yards passing per game in 2022, ranking seventh in the nation at the end of the season. White’s defense included key pieces like Shaun Alexander Freshman of the Year Award Semifinalist and Freshman All-American Deone Walker, who finished the season with 40 total tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss (third on the team), five quarterback hurries (second on the team), two pass breakups, one sack and one forced fumble. White also spent three years grooming defensive back Carrington Valentine, who was selected by the Green Bay Packers in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Before that, in 2021, UK’s defense held opposing offenses to 21.7 points and 340.1 yards per game. Kentucky ranked third in the FBS in fourth down defense (27.8%), 20th in run defense (121.5) and 26th in total defense (340.1). The Wildcats were fourth in the SEC in total defense and scoring defense. They also led the SEC in interception return yards average at 20.9 per INT.

Former outside-linebacker-turned-defensive-end Josh Paschal, outside linebacker J.J. Weaver and outside linebacker Jordan Wright combined for 29.5 tackles for loss and 12.5 sacks in 2021 under White. Paschal went on to be named the Jason Witten Man of the Year, after finishing his career with 139 career tackles, 37 tackles for loss, 13.5 sacks, 12 quarterback hurries, three forced fumbles and three blocked kicks. His 37 tackles for loss in his career ranks tied for third in program history. He was chosen in the second round by the Detroit Lions in the 2022 NFL Draft.

In 2020, UK’s defense ranked in the top six of almost every defensive statistical category, including leading the league in pass defense (224.6) and turnovers forced (22). His talented lineup of outside linebackers were led by Wright (45 tackles, 5.5 TFL, 3.5 sacks, 2 QBH), senior Jamar “Boogie” Watson (40 tackles, 10.0 TFL, 5.0 sacks, 5 QBH) and Weaver (33 tackles, 6.5 TFL, 0.5 sacks, 2 QBH).

In 2019, White’s young defense gave an outstanding account of itself. For the first time since 1979, UK did not allow more than 30 points in any regular season game. UK ranked 13th in the nation in scoring defense and 21st nationally in total defense. Often overlooked in his first season at Kentucky in 2018, alongside Allen, White also aided in the development of Boogie Watson as the other outside linebacker. Watson ranked second in sacks behind Allen with 5.0, while he also had three pass breakups, two quarterback hurries and one forced fumble.

With the Indianapolis Colts, he served as the outside linebackers coach (2015-17), an assistant linebackers coach (2014) and the defensive quality control coach (2012-13).

In 2017, outside linebacker Jabaal Sheard finished the season as the Colts’ leader in sacks with 5.5. He also ranked fourth on the team in tackles (52) and forced two fumbles.

In 2016, White’s unit accounted for 64 percent of the team’s total sacks (21.0-of-33.0). White guided outside linebacker Erik Walden to the best season of his nine-year career. Walden led the Colts with a career-high 11.0 sacks and 9.0 tackles for loss, while tying for the team lead with three forced fumbles. He finished tied for eighth in the NFL (tied for fourth in the AFC) in sacks. Walden was one of only six linebackers in the NFL to record 11.0 or more sacks and three or more forced fumbles in 2016. Outside linebacker Robert Mathis finished second on the team with 5.0 sacks and tied for the team lead with three forced fumbles. White also received contributions from veteran outside linebackers Akeem Ayers and Trent Cole, who collected 2.0 sacks each. Outside linebacker Lavar Edwards, who spent time on the Colts active roster and practice squad in 2016, also contributed with 1.0 sack.

In 2015, White directed a group that was boosted by the return of Colts all-time sack leader Mathis, who missed the entire 2014 season. Mathis tied for the team-lead with 7.0 sacks despite missing most of the 2015 offseason and the season opener while recovering from a torn Achilles tendon. Walden ranked fifth on the team with 57 tackles (43 solo) and tied for third with 3.0 sacks. White also coached the veteran newcomer Cole, who matched Walden with 3.0 sacks. The Colts defense finished the year with five touchdowns, which tied for the most in a single season in franchise history dating back to 1975 and 1994. White’s unit helped the defense rank sixth in the NFL in interceptions (17) and tie for first in the league with four interceptions returned for touchdowns.

In 2014, inside linebackers D’Qwell Jackson (184) and Jerrell Freeman (144) finished first and second on the team in tackles and became the Colts’ first linebacker pair with 100-plus tackles in the same season since 2011. Jackson earned his first career Pro Bowl nod after leading the team in tackles and posting career highs in sacks (4.0) and fumble recoveries (four). In addition, rookie outside linebacker Jonathan Newsome led the team with 6.5 quarterback takedowns while Walden finished second on the team with a then-career-high 6.0 sacks on the year.

In 2013, White helped coach a defense that ranked fourth in the AFC in points allowed (21.0), tied for fifth in sacks (42.0) and eighth in interceptions (15). Mathis led the NFL in sacks (19.5) and forced fumbles (eight), while Freeman tied for third in the league with six forced fumbles. Cornerback Darius Butler posted a team-leading four interceptions for the second straight year and led all AFC cornerbacks with eight interceptions from 2012-13.

In 2012, White assisted a defense that registered 32.0 sacks and 12 interceptions. The Colts defense returned four of those interceptions for touchdowns, which tied the single-season franchise record. White helped the development of 19 different starters on the defensive side of the ball, including Freeman, who joined the team from the Canadian Football League during the offseason and set a franchise record for tackles in a season (203).

Indianapolis was the AFC South champion in 2013 and 2014 and advanced to the playoffs in the 2012-14 seasons.

White, a native of Portsmouth, Rhode Island, joined the Colts after spending two seasons as the inside linebackers coach at the Air Force Academy (2010-11).

While at Air Force, White was instrumental in the development of linebackers Jordan Waiwaiole and Brady Amack, who were each first-year starters in 2010. Waiwaiole led the team in tackles with 96 in 2010, while Amack led the team with 136 in 2011. The Falcons advanced to post-season play in both 2010 and 2011, defeating Georgia Tech in the 2010 Independence Bowl and falling to Toledo on the 2011 Military Bowl.

Prior to coaching at the Air Force Academy, White spent the 2009 season as the safeties coach at Murray State University. He started his coaching career at Wake Forest, where he was a defensive graduate assistant for the 2007-08 seasons. He coached alongside Hood during the 2007 season when Hood was the defensive coordinator for the Demon Deacons. He also played under Hood from 2002-04.

A graduate of Wake Forest, White started at linebacker and finished his playing career with 227 tackles, 19.0 tackles for loss, 4.0 sacks and eight passes defensed, while starting 34-of-35 games played. White was a three-time Academic All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection and was named to the 2004 CoSIDA Academic All-District III team. He graduated from Wake Forest with a bachelor’s degree in analytical finance and a master’s degree in accounting.

White and his wife, Kate, have four children, Julia, Lincoln, Hudson and Lydia.


White’s Coaching History:


Year School Position, Postseason
2007-08 Wake Forest Defensive Graduate Assistant
2009 Murray State Safeties
2010-11 Air Force Inside Linebackers
2012-13 Indianapolis Colts Defensive Quality Control
2014 Indianapolis Colts Assistant Linebackers
2015-17 Indianapolis Colts Outside Linebackers
2018 Kentucky Outside Linebackers
2019-Pres. Kentucky Defensive Coordinator/Outside Linebackers


White’s Postseason History:


Year Bowl School
2010 Independence Bowl Air Force
2011 Military Bowl Air Force
2018 Citrus Bowl Kentucky
2019 Belk Bowl Kentucky
2020 Gator Bowl Kentucky
2021  Vrbo Citrus Bowl Kentucky
2022 TransPerfect Music City Bowl Kentucky
2023 TaxSlayer Gator Bowl Kentucky


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