White, a nine-year veteran of the collegiate coaching ranks, comes to State after two years at Connecticut.
“I’m really excited to have alum Clayton White coming back to NC State,” said Doeren. “As a graduate, he takes great pride in coming back to help us take NC State to prominence in the Atlantic Coast Conference. As I interviewed him, it became more and more apparent that this was more than just a job for him- it was a destination and something that he would take a special pride in being a part of. He’s from Dunn and he knows a ton of the high school coaches in the state.
“I love that Clayton has coached on both sides of the ball and has been a special teams expert throughout his career. I felt like this was a hire I had to make and needed to make as the final piece of our staff.”
At UConn, White coached the running backs and special teams. Last season, Connecticut tied for the national lead with three punt returns for touchdowns. The Huskies also led the Big East with a 12.5 punt return average, a mark that ranked 18th nationally.
In 2011, UConn tailback Lyle McCombs earned Freshman All-America honors from the Football Writers Association of America and was a second-team All-Big East pick. He became just the second Husky to rush for more than 1,000 yards in a freshman season.
On special teams, UConn was ranked 17th in the country in kickoff returns in 2011. Punter Cole Wagner was named second team All-Big East Conference.
White spent the 2010 season as the defensive backs coach and special teams co-coordinator at Western Kentucky. White’s punt return team at WKU ranked third in the Sun Belt Conference with 8.1 yards per return. He helped coach the defense that led the Sun Belt in total yards allowed in conference games.
Prior to his one year at WKU, White coached the defensive backs and was the assistant special teams coach at Stanford from 2007-09. During his tenure at Stanford, the Cardinal was ranked as high as 14th in the national polls, posting an 8-4 regular season record in 2009. The Cardinal’s Sun Bowl appearance that season marked the school’s first bowl game since 2001. At Stanford he coached future NFL players Richard Sherman (Seahawks), Johnson Bademosi (Browns) and Michael Thomas (49ers).
Prior to his arrival at Stanford, White served as the defensive backs coach and special teams assistant at Western Michigan (2006), working with the punt return and kickoff coverage units. WMU ranked sixth in the country in kickoff return defense in 2006 at 16 yards per return and was 10th in the country in punt returns at 13.6.
While at Western Michigan, he coached two defensive backs that were selected in the 2009 NFL Draft -- Louis Delmas and E.J. Biggers. White was part of a Broncos staff that led the 2006 team to an 8-5 record and an appearance in the 2007 International Bowl. That defense led the nation with 24 interceptions and 3.5 sacks per game, while ranking in a tie for second with 37 turnovers gained.
Prior to his stint at WMU, he spent the 2004 and 2005 campaigns at Western Carolina, where he coached defensive backs, was a special teams assistant and served as recruiting coordinator. The Catamounts led all FCS schools in pass defense and ranked fifth in passing efficiency defense.
“We would like to thank Coach Doeren and Debbie Yow for this opportunity to join the Wolfpack family again,” White said. “This football program has been a part of my DNA for a long time now and we are thrilled to keep the tradition going. I’m very excited to get around our players, coach them and have a major impact on their lives on and off the field. I can’t wait to get started.”
A native of Dunn, White was a member of the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers and NY Giants from 2001 to 2003 as a linebacker and special teams player. White played every special teams snap during the 2001 season and made seven tackles for the Giants.
White played for the Pack under coaches Mike O’Cain and Chuck Amato from 1997-2000, serving as team captain as a senior on a team that played in the MicronPC.com Bowl. He played safety as a freshman then started at linebacker for his final three seasons. He ended his career with his name in the record book in several categories, including career tackles for loss (33), single-season tackles for loss (16) and tackles in a single game (23 and 20). He was named the Pack’s special teams MVP in 1997.
White received his B.S. in parks, recreation and tourism with a concentration in sports management in 2001. He enjoyed an outstanding prep career at Erwin’s Triton High School, where he was a first team all-state selection as a defensive back and an all-region quarterback. He was named the most valuable player of the 1996 North Carolina East-West All-Star Game and participated in the North Carolina-South Carolina Shrine Bowl. In 2002, Triton High School retired his jersey.
White’s wife Kelly is an NC State alum as well and served. She earned her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Duke. The couple has a one-year-old son.
“We want to welcome Clayton and Kelly and their son Chase back to NC State,” Doeren said.