Billy Donovan- Staying A Gator


 

Florida coach Billy Donovan, who in the past left Florida for a brief stint in the NBA, has said recently that he wasn’t ruling out the NBA coaching opportunities again. Donovan has been the head coach at the University of Florida since 1996 and has had a lot of success in the last 18 seasons. In 2007, Donovan accepted the head-coaching job with the Orlando Magic, just to change his mind and return to Florida days later. Since being at Florida, Donovan has a 448-168 record and has led his teams to win 2 national championships. Being back in Orlando for the NCAA tournament, Donovan made it clear how much he enjoyed being in Gainesville and coaching for Florida, but didn’t completely rule out the possibility of a return to the NBA. His mentor, Rick Pitino, talked to ESPN about how firmly he believes that Billy Donovan could be a successful NBA coach, but also talks about the fact that he was the only one against Donovan’s move to the Magic in 2007. The University of Florida, afraid of losing their beloved coach and pleased with his recent success, made a deal with Donovan. Billy Donovan signed a 3-year contract extension, which will provide him with an average salary of $3.7 million. This agreement will run through the 2018-19 season. Making the Sweet 16 for the fourth year in a row, Florida has maintained a school record of winning their last 28 consecutive games. Both of these accomplishments are the longest current streaks in college basketball. Donovan’s bonuses, in addition to his contract, continue to multiple the farther the team progresses in the NCAA tournament.

“I got into coaching because of the basketball piece of it, and there is an intrigue as it relates to [the NBA]. When you try to project where your future is, where you’re going to be, and you don’t know because I don’t have a crystal ball, all I can say is I am happy here at Florida. I love being here.” –Florida coach Billy Donovan said in a recent interview.

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