It's not every day one can walk down the hall with a former Buffalo Bills linebacker.
But for anyone who has spent time on the Fredonia State campus, odds are they may have bumped into ex-National Football League player David White in Thompson Hall.
White currently serves as the director of the Educational Development Program at SUNY Fredonia, but from 1993-96, he was chasing down the likes of Dan Marino and Joe Montana on the gridiron.
Pictured is former Buffalo?Bills linebacker David White who currently works at Fredonia State as the director of the Educational Development Program. White was a member of the Buffalo Bills in 1993 and again from?1995-96. His career highlight is intercepting Dan?Marino to help the Bills clinch a playoff berth.
Former Buffalo?Bills linebacker David White poses for a photo in his office where he is currently the director of the Educational Development Program at?Fredonia State.
Did White ever see himself staying in Western New York after his playing days were over?
"Absolutely not," he said with a laugh. "I'm a southern guy. I prefer my dominant season to be summer. I'm originally from Tennessee, but the fans here, the people here are amazing. The history with the Bills has really afforded me some opportunities. The good thing is I was able to take advantage of those opportunities."
White's first time in Buffalo was short-lived. He signed with the Bills as a free agent and went through the 1993 training camp playing alongside Bruce Smith, Bryce Paup and Cornelius Bennett on Buffalo's vaunted defense.
"(Then head coach) Marv (Levy) called me into his office," White recalled. "It was tough because I had never been cut before. I came out and Bennett said, 'Where are you going?' When I said I was cut he said, 'That's why we can't win. They don't know who to keep.'
"That meant a lot to me," White added. "(Bennett) probably didn't know that, but it did."
After being released by the Bills, White was quickly snatched up by the New England Patriots, who also had No. 1 draft pick Drew Bledsoe among their rookies.
The Patriots' first regular season game was against - who else? - the Bills.
"It was tough to go through training camp, build friendships and then be on the opposite sideline," White continued. "Russell Copeland, one of my best friends at the time, caught a punt and returned it for a touchdown. I was on the sidelines cheering. I look over and Bill Parcells is glaring at me."
White played in New England for a year and a half, went back to school and graduated and then came back to Buffalo - where he experienced a career highlight he'll never forget.
"Unquestionably it's the interception against Dan Marino," he answered when asked about top plays. "I was playing behind Bryce Paup. Bryce was actually the Defensive Player of the Year that year, but I had better coverage skills. It was against Miami in 1995, fourth quarter. I dropped back and picked off a pass that propelled us into the playoffs.
"I still have the ball," he added. "People always ask to see that ball. As it turned out, it was probably one of the last interceptions (Marino) threw. He retired the next year."
After getting hurt in the next preseason, White continued his professional football career in the Arena Football League, where he played eight seasons.
His final five seasons in the league were spent in Tampa, where he won the AFL championship with the Tampa Bay Storm.
"I liked the energy of the Arena League," White noted. "As least when I played, guys played both ways. I played linebacker and I played fullback.
"It's a little cheaper and a little more family friendly," he continued. "Teams are scoring 40-50 points per game. It's exciting. I was able to win the championship so I have nothing bad to say about the league."
White has been working in different capacities at Fredonia State for the past eight years. He started in the admissions office with what he calls an 'emergency hire' with two regular counselors out on extended leaves.
"There was an initiative to do more outreach in Buffalo," White explained. "I obviously had some connections in Buffalo. I started off as an outreach specialist. I spoke to different churches and community centers, places like that, all in an effort to improve minority recruitment and the diversity on campus."
After that, White moved to a permanent admissions counselor position before moving into his current director role.
"I never imagined myself working on a college campus," he admitted. "But let me tell you, I love it. I really enjoy it."
Of utmost importance to White is family.
His wife Monica is the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs at SUNY Fredonia. He has three children - two daughters and one son. His oldest daughter will be graduating high school this June, while the other two are in elementary school.
"(My son) is starting to develop a passion for football," the elder White said. "He's a pretty good athlete. I'm not going to push him into anything. Would I like him to play? Absolutely. The key is to teach him the proper techniques and proper fundamentals.
"As much as they're trying to curve it," he continued, "concussions are part of the game. It's an unfortunate part of the game, but a part of the game nonetheless. So yes, I want him to play, but the key is he has to want to play and as he had to learn the proper techniques."
White, who serves as a board member for the Buffalo Bills Alumni Association, again laughed when asked if he considers himself a Bills fan.
"That's a sensitive question," he said slyly. "I am a Bills fan, but I grew up in New Orleans. I'm a big New Orleans Saints fan."
That doesn't mean he hasn't paid attention during the current streak of futility by the Bills.
"I think the biggest obstacle is quarterback play," White commented. "I'm not saying I'm not a (Bills quarterback Ryan) Fitzpatrick fan, I'm saying quarterback play in recent years has not been where it needs to be to get to the playoffs. I think quite a few factors contribute to the decade-long absence from the playoffs, but I think you start with the quarterback play."
Since coming out of Nebraska into the NFL, White has been cut, signed, married, won an AFL championship, retired, hired, earned a master's degree and worked his way up to his current director position.
"As I tell the kids around here," White noted, "it's not how you start, it's how you finish."