Hiring of Benny White completes Rob Murphy's staff at Eastern Michigan
Benny White, an executive assistant to Detroit mayor Dave Bing, has joined the Eastern Michigan University men's basketball coaching staff.
White, who played at Michigan State, coached Detroit Martin Luther King High School from 1995 to 2010. He also has extensive college coaching experience and worked as a scout for the Detroit Pistons.
"Benny White brings tremendous life skills to our staff," first-year EMU coach Rob Murphy said in a statement. "He will contribute to our player success on and off the court."
The 57-year-old was a youth liaison on Bing's staff, but leaving the former NBA great's side for a basketball opportunity is nothing new.
A 2010 Sports Illustrated feature about Bing, a former NBA great, becoming Detroit's mayor discussed their relationship. An excerpt from that story:
Other players put their names on basketball camps, then show up to give a speech, run a clinic or two and farm out the rest of the duties. Not Dave Bing. He went to his camp in the Poconos, built friendships with the kids, then had them over to his house in the winter -- or dropped by their houses.
One of the kids, a 14-year-old named Benny White, went on to play at Michigan State, then worked for Bing Steel. By 1986 White was making $80,000 a year as an executive sales rep. "Tailor-made suits, taking customers to the Red Wings' games, living the life," White says. "But I started to feel empty."
White told Bing he was quitting the business to be an assistant coach at Albion (Mich.) College. The job paid $9,000 a year. Dave went nuts. Is this why he mentored White, hired him, even lived with him for a year? So White could go coach a game?
"He called me a fool—with a few more other names too," White says. "He was just through with me."
For a month the two didn't speak to each other. Then White wrote a letter explaining his decision, and Bing said he understood. White would come back to and leave Bing's company three more times.
White's work history released by Eastern Michigan lists two stints with Bing Steel. The first as an account executive from 1980-86 and the second as a safety coordinator/trainer from 1995-99. He became an executive assistant to the mayor in 2009.
His basketball experience is also extensive, with most of it happening in southeastern Michigan.
The Detroit native played at Michigan State from 1972 to 1976 and served as a graduate assistant for Spartans coach Jud Heathcote in 1976-77. He was also an assistant coach at Wayne State (1977-78), University of Detroit (1978-79 and 1993-95) and Albion College (1986-89) and San Jose State (1989-91).
He coached at Martin Luther King High School from 1995 to 2010 and simultaneously served as a regional scout for the Pistons from 2006-09.