After turning his coaching duties over to associate head coach Jeff Burkhamer and two other assistants, on Oct. 13, White and his family stayed at Brad's house for 17 days before renting a place in Charleston. He has spent untold hours plowing through paperwork to build his insurance claim (he always keeps a notebook within arm's reach so he can catalog lost possessions as they pop into his mind), but that hasn't been nearly as tough as helping Donna and the kids deal with the emotional trauma. Last week Greg choked up while recalling the day Hunter asked him if they could drive to heaven to visit Finally, the family's 10-year-old cat, who died in the fire.
White returned to coaching on Oct. 31, only to see Marshall begin 0-3, including a 77-72 loss to Troy State on Nov. 23 that broke the Thundering Herd's 25-game nonconference home win streak. With three players serving eight-game NCAA suspensions (two for receiving extra benefits, the other for signing a pro contract in his native Estonia), White has had only seven scholarship players. Nonetheless, Marshall had won five straight through Sunday and should improve in a week or so after 6'5" Temple transfer Ronald Blackshear becomes eligible. In the meantime White continues to gain strength from the many encouraging words he has heard the last two months.
"The best therapy is when someone says to you, 'Hang in there, it'll be O.K.,' " he says, "because the more you hear it, the more you believe it."