Tony Joe White, the Birmingham-Southern football head coach since 2017, is returning to his Texas roots. White will become the head football coach at Austin College.
He will be replaced at Birmingham-Southern by Anthony Colucci, who served as the Panthers' offensive coordinator and offensive line coach for the past six seasons. He served as the assistant head coach last season and will be a head coach for the first time in his career.
White was one of the most successful coaches in the program's history.
"I am thrilled to join the Austin College," White said in a Austin College press release. "My family and I are excited to return home to northeast Texas. Restoring the pride and winning tradition that many Austin College alumni are accustomed to, is going to be our priority, and I believe the administration is motivated to see that task through."
Austin College was 3-20 in the three seasons since finishing 5-5 in 2019.
White, a Wolfe City, Texas native, played college football at Texas A&M-Commerce from 1991-93 and graduated from Texas State in 1996.
White leaves Birmingham-Southern after compiling a 35-21 record in six seasons. The Panthers were 1-9 the year before he took over the program. After finishing 3-7 in his first season, the Panthers had back-to-back seasons of 6-4 and 7-3. In 2021, White led his team to a school-record 10 wins and a spot in the NCAA Division III playoffs. The Panthers beat Huntingdon in the first round before losing to eventual national champion Mary Hardin-Baylor.
This past season, the Panthers were 7-2 heading into the regular season finale at Rhodes College. A Birmingham-Southern win would have put the Panthers in position for a second consecutive at-large selection to the playoff. The Panthers lost the opportunity when they dropped a 20-3 decision to Rhodes College.
"His accomplishments on the field speak to his football knowledge and pedigree as a coach," said Austin College athletics director David Norman in the university press release. "He also brings an outstanding background and understanding of NCAA Division III athletics, and as a native Texan, comes in with tremendous connections within the state's football community."
For Birmingham-Southern, turning the page to Colucci is seamless, considering he's been a big part of the program under White.
"I am humbled and honored to be the next Head Coach of Birmingham-Southern Football," said Colucci in a Birmingham-Southern press release. "I do not take lightly the duty that has been bestowed upon me. I am thankful for the full support and belief in me from our administration. Birmingham-Southern College is a special place for my family and I, and we look forward to being a part of its future."
Colucci, an Ohio native, played on the offensive line for Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. He is a 2014 graduate. Colucci served on White's staff at Centre College in Kentucky before coming to Birmingham-Southern.
"This program is bigger than any one person. It is about the current and former players on our roster, their families, the alums, and anyone who has ever provided support to Birmingham-Southern Football. The objective and the goal of the program will remain the same. We will continue to grow, develop, and guide young men towards becoming the best version of themselves. Relentlessly Pursuing Excellence has become a way of life in this program, and we look forward to what the future holds for BSC Football."
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