Russell White is leaving Crespi to become basketball coach at Cal Lutheran

Russell White new basketball coach at Cal Lutheran.
Russell White is leaving Crespi to become basketball coach at Cal Lutheran.

Russell White said he has resigned as basketball coach at Crespi High to accept the position of head coach at his alma mater, Cal Lutheran.

It’s a big loss for Crespi, where he took over a struggling program in 2006-07 and built the Celts into one of the best in the powerful Mission League. Crespi won Division IV and Division I state titles and two Southern Section titles under White. He helped develop London Perrantes, De’Anthony Melton and Brandon Williams, all elite college guards. Perrantes and Melton have since played in the NBA.

“Crespi will always be home for me,” White said in a school news release. “I love this school. I am eternally grateful for the opportunity given to me 14 years ago, and I hope I have been as good to Crespi as Crespi has been to me. The brotherhood that develops at Crespi is not just with students but with the staff. I experienced it first hand and will miss it immensely. I look forward to the coming years when I will join the Crespi Dads club.”

White’s arrival at Cal Lutheran will be an interesting test of a former high school basketball coach from Southern California trying to use his knowledge and contacts to recruit successfully in NCAA Division III. Also it will be intriguing to see who he hires as assistant coaches. He graduated from Cal Lutheran in 1994 and previously coached at Calabasas.

Now Crespi must make a critical decision on his replacement. He was the school’s most high profile coach. He helped bridge a gap after the retirement and death of former baseball coach Scott Muckey and the departure of former football coach Troy Thomas.