WELCOME GUEST  |  LOG IN

Saunders, Real Estate,
Hamptons
27east.com

Sports Center

Jul 20, 2017 3:55 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Ron White Tapped As Successor To Carl Johnson To Lead Bridgehampton Boys Basketball

Ron White is taking over the Bridgehampton varsity boys basketball team after longtime head coach Carl Johnson retired at the conclusion of this past season. DREW BUDD
Jul 24, 2017 3:27 PM

Ronald White is a busy man these days in Bridgehampton.

The 36-year-old, who was born and raised in the hamlet, has been the Bridgehampton School Board President since 2013 and has worked as a broker for the Douglas Elliman Real Estate office just up the road from the school for the past 14 years.

Varsity head coach of the town’s famed boys basketball team can now be added to that list.

The school announced last week that White will take over for longtime head coach Carl Johnson, who retired after the conclusion of this past season in March. White, just like his predecessor, is no stranger to the Bridgehampton program.

White won three state titles as a player under Johnson in three consecutive seasons from 1996 to 1998. After the Killer Bees lost by two points to Greenport in the Suffolk County Championship his senior year, White graduated in 1999 and moved on to SUNY-Cortland. He returned to Long Island shortly thereafter, though, and played under one of the top head coaches in the region, Rich Wrase, at Suffolk County Community College in Selden. As a captain of that team, White and Wrase led the Sharks to three historic seasons from 2003 to 2005, which included two National Championships and an astounding record of 54-1. His time in Selden led to a full scholarship to Long Island University-Southampton, which is where he finished his playing career.

Most recently, White was head coach of Bridgehampton’s junior varsity team last season and an assistant to Johnson in his last season on varsity. He was also a part of the coaching staff for the school’s most recent state title in 2015.

While some may have seen the head coaching position as a natural transition for White, he’s looking at it from a much different perspective.

“I love the opportunity to help and give back,” he said. “That’s something I was raised up on, with folks giving back when we were young. You didn’t realize it when you were a younger kid, but, when you get older and you look back on your life and realize all that was done for you, it kind of gives you chills and goose bumps of the sacrifice that [people made].”

Bridgehampton Athletic Director Mike Miller said there was strong competition for the head coach position, but because of his prior experience working within the program alongside Johnson, it just made sense to go with White, who declined the stipend that comes with being head coach—upwards of thousands of dollars—citing his strong belief in giving back to the community.

“Ron puts in a lot of time in the community. I think sometimes that’s overlooked,” Miller said. “I come in to school at 6:30 a.m. and [White] is already in the gym with kids. He must be in there at 6.”

White and his wife, Milena, have two children, a 3-year-old, Ezrah, who is about to start preschool, and Elijah, a 14-year-old who proved himself to be a key player on the varsity basketball team last season as a freshman.

White is well aware that adding varsity head coach to an already long list of titles will take some time away from his family, but he said they’re ready.

“I did speak to my wife, who I love very dearly, and I appreciate every compromise she’s given me thus far. We’ve been together for so many years, we have a beautiful family,” he said. “This is yet another thing, potentially, that will take me away from the time needed for our family, but it’s for the greater good—for the community and our family—and I really think it’s going to help us.”

White added that the opportunity to become head coach of his alma mater, “presented itself. I prayed on it—I am a firm believer in my God and I believe he will never steer me wrong—and I think that this is the right point for me.”

There will certainly be pressure on White to continue the strong legacy of basketball at Bridgehampton. But White stopped short of measuring success in wins and losses. Instead, he wants to see his young players grow and mature as people in their time on varsity. The winning, he said, will come naturally.

“My expectation is to see to it that everyone involved in the organization becomes better people,” he said. “By becoming more accountable, more responsible, I think basketball will become second nature.

“The wins will come, so long as you can speak to them as young men, and they understand it’s a road that goes back and forth,” he added. “They speak to me, tell me what they see, and maybe get on my case when they need to, and same on my end. There’s got to be communication ... they’ve got to have a voice. They are a part of a rich history of basketball in Bridgehampton, but it can’t be about individual accolades. It’s more about moving on with the tradition of Bridgehampton basketball and continuing to build it and grow it.”

You've read 1 of 7 free articles this month.

Already a subscriber? Sign in