A Day In The Life With UCF AD Danny White
UCF on Saturday defeated Cincinnati to remain undefeated, continuing the school’s Cinderella story and creating a water-cooler debate for the ages: Do the Knights deserve a spot in the CFP? If you ask ESPN’s PAUL FINEBAUM, he would give you a resounding no. However, UCF AD DANNY WHITE would say there is not a school more deserving. White, an '18 SBJ "Forty Under 40" honoree, recently caught up with THE DAILY to walk us through what a typical day for the AD of the defending “National Champions” looks like.
6:30am: I will wake up and the first thing I do is look at my calendar and figure out when I can get my workout in. I’ll either work out in the morning or at lunch. I prefer to work out at lunch.
8:00am: Rather than donor lunches I try to do donor breakfasts. A lot of days I do breakfast in Winter Park with donors and then I head over to campus. I usually get an omelet with some meat and vegetables in it.
9:30am: I’ll stop by one of our teams' practices. Most of our teams, outdoor sports especially, practice in the morning. With the weather here, we get a lot of rain in the afternoons. In the fall I’ll stop through football practice just to show those student-athletes some support.
10:00am: My general rule of thumb is that I hate meetings. I don’t like wasting a lot of my time in meetings. But we have to have some of them, and so at this time in the morning I’ll have my executive staff meeting. The meetings usually don’t go a full two hours, so I might be able to make a phone call or two before I go get my workout in.
12:00pm: Typically, I am working out at lunch. We have a staff workout room and I encourage folks to live a healthy lifestyle. It makes people better at their jobs. It clears their minds and gives them more energy. The byproduct of working out at lunch is that people have figured out they can get to me during that time. So, there are sidebar conversations that happen with various people that have projects they are working on.
1:30-2:30pm: It really depends on what is going on. When the basketball teams are practicing, I will try to get over there. Typically, I am back in the office and will get pulled into athletic department meetings with our president and other VPs. Those usually happen in the early part of the afternoon.
2:30-4:30pm: I find myself later in the afternoon across campus at university meetings.
4:30-6:00pm: This is my time to catch up on phone calls and emails, stuff like that. A lot of times I have a list of calls to make while I’m on my way to donor dinners, so I will make them when I’m on the drive.
6:30pm: We have a lot of games that I like to be present for. If I don’t have a game or a radio show, then I often have a donor dinner. One of the great things about being in a big city and having so many of our alums, and even non-alums that are donors that support the program, is that they are all here. It’s easy to access them but it also ends up being a lot of evening and night time obligations. But I like doing that stuff. That’s part of the job. Our donors love steakhouses, so I have been to just about every steakhouse in Orlando. I like a place called Christner’s; it’s kind of a historic steakhouse. We go to the Ruth’s Chris in Winter Park quite a bit as well. So, evenings are either a UCF game or a donor dinner. On a rare occasion I love to see my own kids play sports and go to one of their games.
9:00pm: I love to go sit outside on the back porch with the TV on. I like watching games and hanging out with my kids for a short time. They usually go to bed by the time I get home, but my oldest is 14, so he can stay up a bit later. I like to watch games the most, but if there isn’t a good one on then I’ll watch a little bit of Animal Planet. My kids like watching that with me. I think it’s relaxing. My kids also really love “THE OFFICE,” so we will watch that on Netflix. It’s hysterical.
11:00pm: I’ll usually go to bed around this time. With the job, it sometimes can be hard to get your brain to stop running. That is where that downtime on the back porch really helps. It gets me to slow down and allows me to get my brain to turn off.
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