The “Dawg” – Legendary Coach Jerry White leaves lasting legacy on and off the court

Published 9:56 am Wednesday, September 6, 2023

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HAMPTON — Coach Jerry White, a pivotal player on the 1960 Hampton state championship basketball team, returned to his Alma Mater and etched his name in sports history. Over the span of 37 illustrious years, White’s coaching prowess resonated through the courts, as he led Hampton High School’s basketball team to more than 700 victories.

White’s journey came full circle when he transitioned from a star player to an even more remarkable coach. Hailing from the very town that nurtured his talents, White’s passion for the sport fueled his drive to guide and mentor generations of young athletes. His dedication to excellence was evident as he directed the team to six state tournaments, each time instilling his core values of discipline, teamwork, and perseverance.

One of Coach White’s most memorable achievements was steering his protégé, Leon Tolley, to the MVP title in 1983. Tolley’s exceptional performance on the court was a testament to White’s exceptional coaching ability and his knack for bringing out the best in his players. Beyond the victories and accolades, Coach White’s impact was felt in the lifelong friendships he fostered and the life lessons he imparted to his players.

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In 2011, Coach White bid farewell to his coaching career on a high note. The team’s impressive 31-5 season record culminated in a triumphant final trip to the state tournament. White’s leadership had not only translated into wins but also into the development of well-rounded individuals, carrying his teachings into their future endeavors.

Reflecting on his journey, White humbly stated, “It’s never been about the wins or the records for me. It’s always been about watching these young athletes grow, learn, and become better people through the game of basketball.”

Even after his retirement, Coach White’s influence endures. His legacy lives on through the countless lives he touched, both on and off the court. Former players, colleagues, and the entire Hampton community remember him as a source of inspiration and a beacon of sportsmanship.

As the sun sets on an era of coaching greatness, the story of Coach Jerry White will continue to inspire generations, a reminder that the impact of a dedicated mentor reaches far beyond the confines of a basketball court.

This Timeless treasure of Coach Jerry White’s accomplishments that Charles C.Y. Peters has compiled into a book title “The Dawg,” the Jerry White story, will be available for purchase when basketball season begins in November. Pre-order your copy of “The Dawg” now so that you don’t miss a great treasure for only $19.95. You can order through Paypal using or reserve your copy at Eagles, 507 E. Elk Ave., downtown Elizabethton.