By Tim Peterson
Santa Ana College head football coach Anthony White, 42, passed away early Friday morning after a bout with cancer the school confirmed.
White took over at Santa Ana College in May 2021 and was in his third year at the school. White was one of the first Black head coaches in Orange County Community College football. The Dons were 9-2 this season as White coached the team remotely while battling cancer after attending a game early in the season.
White was the head coach at Buena Park High School from 2010 to 2016 where he completely resurrected the program. The Coyotes had an overall record of 59-22 during his seven-year tenure including an overall record of 10-2 and a Freeway League title in his final campaign.
White, who was also a teacher at Buena Park, coached and helped mold the careers of such players as Nik Needham, Josh Tupou and Jaylinn Hawkins who all went to play in the NFL. White coached several other Division 1 athletes as well during his years at Buena Park.
White took over a Buena Park team that was 2-8 the year before and immediately took the Coyotes to a 6-5 record overall and the playoffs in 2010. The Coyotes had a winning record every year during his tenure.
Buena Park missed the playoffs just once during that span and reached the semi-finals in 2014 and ’15. In 2016, in White’s last year at the helm on October 21, the Coyotes had a huge win over La Habra which had been a nemesis over the years.
Before going to Buena Park, White was the head coach at Temple City where he led the Rams to a 5-4-1 record in 2009.
White played his high school football at Rosemead where he earned the Wendy’s High School Heisman Award in 1998. He then went on to play college football at Utah.
White is survived by his wife San, his son Anthony II and his daughter Olivia Grace.