Billy Donovan Says Goodbye To Florida in AD

Billy Donovan thanks Florida in AD

Since becoming the new head coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Billy Donovan hasn’t said much about the school he left until today.

Donovan spent 19 years as the man in Gainesville, winning two National Championships and reaching four Final Fours.

All those memories caused this full-page newspaper ad to surface.

Billy D says goodbye to Gators nation

Here’s the full text from Donovan and his wife:

“GOODBYE” is so difficult, especially after having spent two decades in this community. (And as you’ve seen before, leaving you all has never been easy for us!)

“The University of Florida and Gainesville embraced us from the day we arrived so long ago, and we have grown to love not only this local community that has so loved us, but all of Gator Nation — from Crescent Beach to Cedar Key, from Miami to New York, from Jacksonville to San Fransisco, to all over the nation and globe.

“We are so grateful to Jeremy Foley, staff and leaders at the University of Florida, along with scores of players and coaches who have become part of our family. And, of course, the Rowdy Reptiles.

We leave with hearts full of love and cherished memories of euphoria and heartbreak — on and off the court — shared at every step with our Gator family.

We are excited for all that Mike White brings as he puts his own unique mark on Florida basketball…Fannnnntastic!

And so, rather than goodbye, …until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hand.

— Billy and Christine Donovan

Report: Billy Donovan targeting Monty Williams as Top Assistant

monty

Billy Donovan is entering the NBA for the first time as a head coach.

Like any smart leader or general, Donovan is trying to surround himself with quality people and coaches to help ease his transition.

Donovan is trying to put together a load coaching staff — with names like Maurice Cheeks and recently fired Pelicans head coach, Monty Williams according to Adrian Wojnarowski.

Donovan has a targeted interest in several potential candidates, including ex-New Orleans Pelicans coach Monty Williams, Chicago Bulls assistant Andy Greer and Portland Trail Blazers assistant Nate Tibbetts, league sources said.

Another possibility could be the return of New York Knicks assistant Brian Keefe, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Keefe left ex-Thunder coach Scott Brooks’ Thunder staff to join Derek Fisher in New York a year ago. Keefe is well-regarded among Thunder management and players. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are among the players partial to Keefe.

Sean Miller Replaces Billy Donovan as U19 Men’s USA Basketball Coach

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With Billy Donovan departing the University of Florida to accept the head coaching vacancy of the Oklahoma City Thunder, there was a hole left in the U19 USA Men’s Basketball Program. Now, they have found their new head coach.

Arizona Wildcats’s Head Coach Sean Miller will be named the new U19 USA Men’s Basketball coach.

“I am honored to be named head coach of the USA Basketball Men’s U19 World Championship Team,” Miller said. “It is exciting to be coaching such a talented group of young players, as well as working alongside a great coaching staff. I look forward to the responsibility and challenges that lie ahead in our journey to win the gold medal at the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship.”

Miller’s coaching staff this summer will include his younger brother and Dayton Flyers’ Head Coach Archie Miller, and Providence Friars’ Head Coach Ed Cooley.

Archie Miller

The U19 Championships begin June 27, and the United States won the Gold Medal last year under Donovan.

Miller and his coaching staff will be looking to do the same.

 

Report: Thunder GM in Contract Talks With Billy Donovan

Billy Donovan Gators

The pursuit to land Florida Gator’s Billy Donovan have intensified, with the Gators head coach and OKC having entered contract negotiations per a league source.

Oklahoma City Thunder General Manager Sam Presti has made it clear that this coaching vacancy is Donovan’s to lose, now the question is does Donovan want the job and leave Gainesville.

Presti is currently in Florida working on a contract framework with Coach Donovan, who currently is making 4 million dollars a year to coach the Gators, and his NBA contract annually could command as high as 6 million.

Now aside from money, the huge concern for Donovan is the contract negotiations of the Thunder duo of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, who will be free agents in the summer of 2016.

KD and Russ

Again, Presti has picked as Donovan as his guy, and is not consulting Durant nor Westbrook on approval of his selection.

Donovan is a proven winner winning back to back National Championships with current NBA stars and former Gators Joakim Noah, Al Horford, and Corey Brewer in 2006 and 2007, and reaching the Final Four 4 times (2000, 2006, 2007, 2014). It’s been reported that Durant has been reaching out to former Gators to get a better feel on Donovan as a man and as a coach.

If last year’s acquisitions of Enes Kanter, Dion Waiters, and D.J. Augustin all remain on the Thunder roster with a healthy Durant, Westbrook and Serge Ibaka who missed the last month of the regular season, Oklahoma City will be a favorite for the 2015-2016 season.

The Thunder recently fired Scott Brooks, who only reached the NBA Finals one time during his tenure. The current roster is anxious and hungry to return to the NBA Finals and win it all.

Time will tell on Donovan’s decision to become the Thunder coach, pushing Presti to get this deal done immediately.

OKC GM Didn’t Ask Durant & Westbrook Input On Coach

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As reports continue to come in on the likely hiring of University of Florida head coach Billy Donovan by the Oklahoma City Thunder, we are starting to learn a bit more about the process behind OKC offering Donovan the position. According to the ever powerful Woj himself, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the Thunder haven’t reached out to Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant or Serge Ibaka on the possible hiring of Donovan.

This is an interesting move on the Thunder’s part, especially with Durant due to hit free agency next summer and Westbrook the summer after that.

Report: Donovan Leaning Toward Taking Thunder Job

Billy Donovan betting favorite for OKC Job

The Billy Donovan to Oklahoma City rumors are starting to heat up even more. After an earlier report that the job was basically his to lose, ESPN is reporting that the Florida Gators head coach is leaning towards accepting the opportunity to coach Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant.

I have no doubt that Donovan will be a great NBA head coach, but if he accepts the position, he has exactly 12 months to convince Kevin Durant not to skip town and turn this whole gig upside down.

Report: Thunder Pushing For Billy Donovan To Accept Job

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It appears that the Oklahoma City Thunder job is Bill Donovan’s to turn down.

The Oklahoma City Thunder are preparing an offer for Florida coach Billy Donovan and pushing for him to accept the job as head coach, according to Yahoo Sports.

Donovan is the only serious candidate in general manager Sam Presti’s search, and the two-time national championship coach is enthusiastic about the possibility of the job – if terms on a deal can be reached, sources told Yahoo Sports.
It could take a contract worth in the $6 million-a-year range to get Donovan, who makes $4 million-plus annually with no state income tax at Florida.

Kevin Durant has reportedly done his own research on Donovan as well.

Oklahoma City star Kevin Durant has reached out to at least one former University of Florida player in the NBA to gain insight into Donovan, league sources told Yahoo Sports and has become generally positive about the potential hiring.

Donovan has had an interest in trying to speak to the Thunder’s key players, including Durant, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka, before accepting the job, but it was unclear if that would be facilitated for Donovan, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Report: OKC Contacts Billy Donovan

OKC contacts Billy Donovan

Things are starting to heat up on the Billy Donovan front.

Donovan left the Orlando Magic high and dry back in 2007, after he originally accepted the head coaching job. However, it ended up working out for Orlando, as Stan Van Gundy turned them into an elite team, which included a NBA Finals appearance.

If Donovan ever wants to coach in the NBA, Oklahoma City may be his last opportunity. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.

Report: Billy Donovan Will Accept Thunder Coaching Job If Offered

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It seems that Scott Brooks was fired just days ago but the Oklahoma City Thunder are already seeking a replacement. I guess the early bird gets the worm. The Thunder are actively pursing two current NCAA coaches, Kevin Ollie and Billy Donovan.

Kevin Ollie finished his NBA career as a player back in 2010 with the Thunder but has withdrawn his name from consideration and plans continue coaching at Connecticut. Billy Donovan has done no such thing and is now the favorite to land the job. According to Jeff Goodman of ESPN, Donovan is interested in the job and would accept the job of offered.

Donovan has had a 21-years coaching career and has served as the Gators head coach the last 19-years. Donovan has a 502-206 record, has made 14 NCAA Tournament appearances and has won two National Championship Titles.

HT: TheScore

 

Billy Donovan Betting Favorite For OKC Job

Billy Donovan betting favorite for OKC Job

With Scott Brooks out of town, the Oklahoma City Thunder are looking for his replacement. According to Bovada, Florida Gators legend Billy Donovan is the favorite.

Donovan has an impressive record of 467-186 in Gainesville to go along with two National Championships and four Final Four appearances.

However, Donovan has no coaching experience at the NBA level. Back in 2007, he initially agreed to become the Orlando Magic head coach, before quickly backing out.