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Dedication Ceremony Set for the Harold White Courtyard
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Dedication Ceremony Set for the Harold White Courtyard

The University of South Carolina Athletics Department will be holding a dedication ceremony on Friday, Oct. 28 at 5 p.m. for the newly created “Harold White Courtyard”, located next to the Rice Athletics Center in the Cregger Athletics Village.

The Courtyard was made possible by a fundraising campaign with funds used to support academic services for Gamecock Athletics as well as the degree completion program.

Harold White was called “Coach” by South Carolina student-athletes, and he touched the lives of them for many years. The former football assistant coach and long-time administrator passed away in 2019, but for those lives he touched, they wanted his name to live on forever.

‘Coach White did so much for so many,” said South Carolina Athletics Director Ray Tanner. “Harold gave his life to the advancement of young people and helped everyone make their community a better place. It was time to make sure that no one forgets him.”

White became South Carolina’s first African-American coach when he was hired by former head football coach Paul Dietzel as a graduate assistant in 1971 at the age of 31. He served as the head of academic support for Gamecock student-athletes from 1973-1989 and then returned to that position in 1993. At the time of his retirement in 2007, he was the Senior Associate Athletics Director for Academic Support and Student Services.

“If it wasn’t for him (White), a lot of us players wouldn’t have made it (through college),” said 1980 Heisman Trophy winner George Rogers. “For a bunch of us, he was our heart.”

In 1993, White was awarded the prestigious Lan Hewlett Award by the National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletics. He also served as South Carolina’s NCAA compliance officer for two years after heading up the academic office. He had also served in the role as director of Carolina’s Wellness Program for 11 years from 1988-99.

White has been recognized within the football program for many years as the “Harold White GPA Award” is presented annually to team members recognized for academic achievement. He was also a 2009 inductee into the USC Athletics Hall of Fame.

He continues to be remembered in different ways on campus. South Carolina’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee recently implemented the Harold White Leadership Academy, which is a three-part leadership program that includes a postgraduate internship program, mentorship program for current athletics department staff, and community engagement.

A native of Columbia, White received his bachelor’s degree in physical education from South Carolina State College in 1963. He graduated from C.A. Johnson High School in Columbia and was inducted into the Richland County School District One Hall of Fame in 2015.