Tech coach about to get his degree from Georgia. You read that right.

It’s been worth the long drives. It’s been worth the insults.

On Saturday, Georgia Tech assistant baseball coach Matt White will graduate from Georgia.

You read that right.

Matt White

Matt White

Georgia.

He will receive a bachelor’s degree in Wildlife, 14 years after he graduated from high school in Waynesboro, Pa.

And yes, he’s gotten plenty of gruff. Mostly from the players he supervises.

“Baseball players have a knack for harassing each other,” he said. “When we get close to playing Georgia, they ask me who am I going to root for. There’s constant harassment.”

It’s been a long journey to get that diploma.

He signed with the San Francisco Giants in 1996 and spent 10 years with the Tampa Bay franchise.

When he left professional baseball in 2006 he said he needed to come up with a plan.

An avid hunter and outdoorsman, he found out Georgia had one of the top-five programs for Wildlife.

He applied and got into school and got into the program. Around the same time the opportunity to coach at Tech became available.

It’s made for some long days.

He, his wife and their two daughters live in Milton.

He said he gets up, drives to Athens three days a week for classes in the mornings and early afternoons, and then turns around and drives to Tech for practice before heading back home.

He will miss Saturday’s game against Illinois-Chicago to walk with his classmates. Then he’ll be back to work at Tech next week.

He plans on using his education to improve some property he bought near Hutchinson, Kan. with his baseball money.

Some of his former teammates have asked him to work on their properties, as well.

So what does a Wildlife major do?

Work with land, mostly. But it depends on what the land owner wants. Some want to make it better for deer hunting, others for bird watching.

White said he starts by analyzing an aerial photo of the property to figure out what is already growing. From there, he will walk the property and begin to visualize what needs to be done. Depending upon the season and what the owner wants, the process typically takes three to four months. White can do tracts of land as large a few thousand acres.

“Quite a time commitment and tough to handle but definitely worth it,” he said.

56 comments Add your comment

2HLLWGA

May 7th, 2010
5:53 am

I hope more players will get/finish their degree, even if it is from UGA.

Alabama Jack

May 7th, 2010
6:40 am

Congrats coach. What a great example for the kids. We wish you continued success.

Yes

May 7th, 2010
6:48 am

No problem with him getting a degree from UGA. I respect him simply for the amount of driving he’s putting in each week!

poopdawg

May 7th, 2010
6:58 am

The only thing his wildlife management degree taught him about Atlanta was to get out of there before dark. Congrats Coach.

gtbob45

May 7th, 2010
7:23 am

Hell if he just made it to Athens without encountering a bunch of unruly drunk Georgia athletes he deserves a degree in wildlife management.

Saint Simons

May 7th, 2010
7:44 am

Congrats! Trying to find a job with one of our degrees is about like peeing in the ocean trying to drown a whale! Good Luck!

eBuzz

May 7th, 2010
7:52 am

Congratulations to Matt, and congratulations to his family for supporting him. In today’s age of “entitled” athletes and “one and dones” very few who have ever gone pro exhibit to the moxie and stamina to do what he did, especially over a prolonged time and a prolonged distance. I wish him all of the best.

GT in CT

May 7th, 2010
8:03 am

“gruff” -> “guff”

Eastside Jacket

May 7th, 2010
8:06 am

Congrats Coach White. You are a fine example to all young men about perseverance and hard work. Good luck in your future !!!

Pimples

May 7th, 2010
8:12 am

Not everyone aspires to be a socially retarded engineer…….some people actually have a personality and interests in other pursuits.

Paddy

May 7th, 2010
8:16 am

Other players and other students take notice. White will be a success in life. Will you?

RomeDawg

May 7th, 2010
8:20 am

Who cares where the degree came from! Congrats, that is great story! Great job Coach!

jabster

May 7th, 2010
8:22 am

Well, this will set him apart from most of the Bulldog Nation…

Yep

May 7th, 2010
8:25 am

More power to him. I am the furthes thing from a UGA fan, but Tech (for obvious academic reasons) doesn not have a Wildlife program. That is what he wanted to do, more power to him.

John

May 7th, 2010
8:26 am

As a loyal Tech fan, I would gladly trade my Georgia COLLEGE management degree for one from UGAg.

SlimG

May 7th, 2010
8:31 am

Wow, now tech might actually be able to handle the elements of nature. Just kidding techies. Great story of someone not caring what others think. Stop the presses, someone thinking at tech again.

JB

May 7th, 2010
8:39 am

Good job coach……Go Dawgs…….

Delbert D.

May 7th, 2010
8:55 am

Great story. Congrats, Coach.

Typical Techie Pinhead

May 7th, 2010
8:56 am

What kind of major is wildlife? Another dumb UGA major for the rednecks. Who cares about wildlife? They just get in the way off all the highways and bridges that we build. Stupid worthless rednecks. I am soooooo better than you.

Nothing but the Truth

May 7th, 2010
8:57 am

This actually proves that the academic standards at Tech are very high and are not compromised for anyone, not even an employee or member of the coaching staff. He probably could not qualify academically to get into Tech. Of course, UGA will take just about anybody with a pulse

spectator

May 7th, 2010
9:00 am

A “Wildlife” degree?? Good grief! Just proves uga is a diploma mill.

Reality Check

May 7th, 2010
9:19 am

GT fans are very shortsighted. If you think the only contributors in this world have engineering or “management” degrees from GT then you are the idiots. Not everyone is suited for the Math requirements at GT. By the same token, schools like UGA produce Doctors (pre-med, biology) as well as many other fields like teaching, etc. I do not know what a wildlife degree is comprised of but do know that working full time with a family and getting your degree would be a heck of an accomplishment. For the record I did not attend UGA or GT, but if that makes me a redneck idiot go ahead and call me that. GT and UGA are both great schools but trying to compare them is like apples to oranges.

Jim in Ga

May 7th, 2010
9:25 am

Tech fans are just like UGA fans. When a recruit goes somewhere else instead of UGA they just say he wasn’t recruited by them and when someone goes to another school instead of Tech they pull out the “well he wouldn’t have gotten in anyways, our standards are too high for them”. Pretty silly on both accounts.

GT Alph

May 7th, 2010
9:34 am

You can get a quality education at UGA, as long as you’re not an athlete. “Fundamentals of Basketball” comes to mind.

HugoStiglitz

May 7th, 2010
9:36 am

You can get a degree that is designed to make land better for bird watchers and deer hunting? You gotta be kidding me. Good for him for sticking it out I guess. He probably could have picked something better though.

CYBERJACKET

May 7th, 2010
9:46 am

Good for you coach. It shows a lot of detemination to do what you did.

Congrats.

Ralph

May 7th, 2010
9:49 am

Getting a UGAg degree is better than nothing, so congratulations are certainly in order. Tech offers many pure science and math degrees in addition to engineering and management – but unlike UGAg all tech degree paths are hard to qualify for admission, much less complete.

TechDan

May 7th, 2010
9:50 am

Oh yes, because clearly, the people who are belittling one of our own coaches are actually Tech fans.

With names like “Typical Techie Pinhead,” who else could the be but Tech Fans? Except maybe UGAg fans.

UGA has plenty of good programs, like the Vet school, Grady College of Journalism, and the aformentioned Wildlife program. Good for Coach White for getting his degree in something that interests him.

TechDan

May 7th, 2010
9:51 am

Ralph

May 7th, 2010
10:02 am

The Grady College of Journalism at UGAg only graduates socialists. If you aren’t one when you start, you must convert by your sophomore year or be flunked out. In their defense, this is no different than all other schools of journalism, and why the MSM is ultra liberal.

BigDawg

May 7th, 2010
10:02 am

Guess Tech doesn’t have high standards for coaching like they do for students. They hired a non-college grad for years to coach baseball.

But a degree in Wildlife is not exactly shining bright lights at UGA’s high academic standards. Wildlife…I thought that was only offered at ABAC.

wiley

May 7th, 2010
10:05 am

A college degree is a great thing, congrats coach.

PTC DAWG

May 7th, 2010
10:09 am

Someone that would come on a blog and actually knock someone for getting a College Degree is a moron of the highest order.

JW

May 7th, 2010
10:10 am

Reality Check

uh….you can be pre-med at GT too

JB

May 7th, 2010
10:13 am

Yes, I’ve heard some of these Tech Scholars interviewed on the field after a football game. I’m sure major engineering Firms are licking their chops ! LOL……GEEZ……

JB

May 7th, 2010
10:14 am

If he ends up doing what he loves, he’ll never work a day in his life.

Typical Techie Pinhead

May 7th, 2010
10:19 am

“UGA has plenty of good programs…”

Sure, like the Waffle House School of Culinary Arts or Janitorial Sciences.
UGA produces teachers and journalists? Oh big whoop. They are poor and therefore sub-human. A Tech graduate makes an average of 60K right out of school. LOL @ teachers and their near poverty level salaries.

Its just so great to be a D-bag Techie that is better than everyone else. You have no idea. Any of you teachers want to touch my engineering degree? Only in you wildest dreams losers. I’m off to go count my money and boss people around. See ya.

GT Fan...

May 7th, 2010
10:35 am

Rock & Roll coach!!

Awesome to also see you’ve invested some of your professional $ in something with such a great ROI, and not 20 cars, and tons of “bling”.

ST Simons

May 7th, 2010
12:38 pm

UGA 30 – GT 24!!!!!!!!!!!!!
UGA 73 – GT 66!!!!!!!!!

WE RUN THIS STATE!!!

HAHAHAHAHAHAAHHAAHA!!!!

Technophobia

May 7th, 2010
4:39 pm

Sounds like a pretty cool job. If it pays the bills it’s all good.

CaryJacket

May 8th, 2010
11:07 am

Congrats Coach White. Getting the degree was important — regardless of the college at which you earned it.

All you guys bad mouthing the Wildlife degree from Uga should ease off on your criticism. Graduates with Wildlife degrees (Fisheries degrees also) often are the biologists conducting the research, survey and management work to conserve our fish and wildlife resources.

In Georgia, the Fish and Wildlife Dept. is located in Social Circle, east of Atlanta off I-20. Almost all of those biologists employed by the Georgia Fish and Wildlife Dept. most likely have degrees in Wildlife Science or Fisheries Science. (A few may have degrees in Ecology, Zoology or Biostatics.)

The point is all of these Wildlife Biologists and Fisheries Biologists are responsible for conservation not only fish and wildlife for sporting purposes (i.e., hunting and fishing), but also the nongame wildlife that often are indicator species for quality habitat. These guys are responsible for the survey work, data analysis and resulting Regulations Digest to set harvest limits, creel limits and size limits.

In other words, Wildlife Biologists and Fisheries Biologists are the point people primarily responsible for ensuring we not only can enjoy our fish and wildlife resources today, but our progeny can get outdoors and do some fishing, hunting or bird-watching in the future.

Tech doesn’t offer a Wildlife Science or Fisheries Science degree. Colleges like Auburn, Tennessee Tech, VPISU, NC State and the aforementioned Uga do. That’s the bottom line. Er, make that the next-to-the-bottom line.

Here’s the bottom line: GO JACKETS!

GT IS STILL A 4TH RATE HIGH SCHOOL TEAM

May 8th, 2010
5:29 pm

JELLO JOCKITCH IF YOU HAVE NOT HEARD IT YET, YOUR ORANGE BOWL NO LONGER HAS A SPONSOR. FEDEX QUIT. POOR ATTENDANCE. TOLD YOU EARLY THIS YEAR. ORANGE BOWL WILL GO BANKRUPT WITH GT ON THEIR BOWL. HAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAH

blackprix

May 9th, 2010
2:29 am

Gee, I wonder why he did coach at Georgia? Seems to me he knows baseball well enough to realize that the Tech Program has NO RIVAL in this state!

Congrats coach, getting a degree is special no matter where you get it!

Type in upper case

May 9th, 2010
4:25 pm

Enter your comments here

Type in upper case

May 9th, 2010
4:27 pm

I am a retard…………hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

tomkat1

May 9th, 2010
6:08 pm

Congratulations from a UGA fan.You have to admire a man who has a family, works and obtains his degree.

Small Johnson

May 9th, 2010
6:09 pm

This is your coach Small Johnson. SHHHHHH I need my masters degree and Im considering a degree in MIDDLE SCHOOL OPTION VEER at UGA. Could someone help me pass my classes by taking my tests. I heard UGA is tough and if its any indication of how better a program they are athletically, Im going to need some help over there academically.

Hey JB

May 10th, 2010
7:51 am

Footnote your quote…you are not that smart!

Chuck Allison

May 11th, 2010
2:08 pm

It never ceases to amaze me at the silly degrees they have a UGA. A degree in wildlife? Why didn’t he specialize and get a degree in Buzzards?

Jimmy

May 12th, 2010
10:50 am

Chuck,

You do realize that w/ your moronic comments you are insulting one of your own coaches. Way to stay classy, Techie.