July 29, 2022

Former Team Captain, William White, Dies


COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State Department of Athletics is mourning the loss of William White, a former team captain who went on to have a long NFL career with three teams, who died Thursday after a long battle with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis). He was 56. The Detroit Lions posted the news of White’s passing on its Twitter account.

From Lima, Ohio, and a 1984 graduate of Lima Senior High School, White was a four-year starter as a defensive back for Ohio State between 1984 and 1987. He was one of four captains on the 1987 Ohio State team, along with Chris Spielman, Eric Kumerow and Tom Tupa.

White played on two Big Ten championship teams – the 1984 and 1986 teams – and two teams that defeated Michigan: 1984 and the 1987 team that defeated Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich., in Earle Bruce’s last game as coach.

A 46-game starter for the Buckeyes at cornerback, White finished his career with 178 tackles and was named all-Big Ten Conference as a senior. He is still tied for third in Ohio State history with 16 career interceptions, including five as a senior, and his two “pick-6” interception returns are tied for second in school history. His three interceptions vs. West Virginia in 1987 are tied for the school record.

At the conclusion of his career, White was drafted in the fourth round of the 1988 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions, a team he would play with for six seasons. He also played three seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs and two with the Atlanta Falcons.

White, who is survived by his wife, Nikol, daughter, Brea, and sons William Jr., and Brendon, was diagnosed with ALS in 2016.

His son, Brendon, played three seasons for Ohio State (2017-18-19), lettered twice and was the Defensive MVP of the 2019 Rose Bowl.

Ohio State Buckeyes