White takes Vanderbilt women’s coaching job, will leave Fever after season

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INDIANAPOLIS — Stephanie White’s tenure as head coach of the Indiana Fever will be a short one.

White was officially named the next head coach of the Vanderbilt women’s basketball team on Tuesday. She received a six-year contract from the school.

“I kind of wrestled with it in my mind, and I thought about, like, ‘This is the equivalent of Brad Stevens turning down the Celtics. It just doesn’t happen,'” said White after conducting Tuesday’s Fever practice. “It was a long, thought-through process. I’ve known for a long time that I wanted to eventually get back into college, and this happened to be the right opportunity,” she added.

As a first year head coach at the WNBA level, White led the Fever to the 2015 WNBA Finals. She is the league’s only rookie head coach to take her team to the Finals.

The 38 year-old admitted financial stability and job security were big pluses with the Vanderbilt job, as is the opportunity to influence the lives of young women.

“I love this (Indiana Fever) franchise. There’s not a lot of jobs that I would want to leave this franchise for,” White said.

White will coach the remainder of the season with the Fever before assuming her new job in Nashville. And until then, she promises she’ll devote all of her attention to her current job, not her future one.

“I’m a person that’s in the moment, and in the moment, I want to win a championship for the Indiana Fever,” said White.

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