White was a premier half-miler at Centralia High School in 1957 and held the school record at 1.59.2 until 1970.
He became a champion without a ribbon. In the 1957 Sate meet he won the half-mile, only to be disqualified. A corner judge said he bumped another runner.
Although there was a hearing and the other runner said Rod did not bump him, the disqualification still stood.
Rod lettered three years in track and cross-country at the University of Missouri,
graduating in 1961.
He returned to Centralia High School and was head track and cross-country
coach from 1967-68 through 2002-2003.
Under Rod’s coaching CHS track teams won eight South Seven Conference titles, 12 sectional titles, including
7 consecutive titles through 1988.
His Cross-Country teams won 19 South Seven Conference meets including 14 in a row at one point,
8 sectional titles with six consecutive at one time. Also his cross-country teams qualified for State final meets
18 times, finishing in the top ten four times, with a second place finish in 1971, which is unheard of for a team from this part of the state.
Individually he had three athletes finish in the top ten Sate cross-country meets and had numerous tracksters score at the
state level, with a state mile champion in
It was once said that "With Rod White as your coach you learn what hard work, dedication and proper attitude will do for you as an athlete as well as in life in general."
was elected to Illinois Track and Cross Country
Coaches’ Association Hall of Fame, 1989.