Billy Donovan says he's happy coaching the Gators
Despite reports over the past several weeks that he was being courted by both St. John's and Oregon, Florida coach Billy Donovan said Wednesday there was no truth to the stories and he's content staying in Gainesville and coaching the Gators.
Donovan reportedly turned down an offer of more than $3 million to become the head coach at St. John's.
"I think any of that stuff, a lot of time it's media-driven speculation and I've never, and will never comment on that stuff because none of it was true,'' Donovan said. "There was a lot going on with the St. John's situation and it was amazing to me, my family and people back in New York (calling) and I was like I have no idea about any of this stuff.''
Donovan said he has a comfort level in Gainesville with both the administration and community.
" I think here, the one thing that makes it unique is the administration,'' he said. "I've got a great relationship with Jeremy (Foley, athletic director). Although there’s been a couple of different presidents that have come through here they’ve been extremely supportive and they’ve all been great people. I love Dr. Machen (Bernie, UF president) and he is a terrific guy. I’ve always been very happy here. I like it here in the community, I like the administration. I like everything about it. So I’m very, very happy. And I also think your happiness has got to be created for yourself. I don’t think you can look for exterior things to try to create a level of happiness here. So for me, I’m excited. And looking forward to the future as it relates to jobs and things like that, a lot of time you’re just not going to comment every time something is thrown out there.''
Despite the departure of sophomore guard Ray Shipman, Donovan said he doesn't expect any other players to leave the program. Shipman's decision, Donovan said, was strictly based on playing time and if he looks around and decides Florida is the best place for him, Donovan said he's welcome to rejoin the Gators - similar to center/forward Alex Tyus' situation last spring.
Florida has two incoming recruits signed, and Donovan said it's a possibility the Gators will add more players in the late signing period.
"We've been actively recruiting players all year long,'' he said. "It all depends on the fit and the need and is it someone who we feel is going to be able to contribute over a long period of time. I've never been a big believer of just jumping in and offering someone a scholarships, just giving away a scholarship. I think there's got to be a relationship built, you want to get to know the player, get the player to know you. YOu want to be able to feel like you can provide what they are looking for. But it could be one, it could be two, it could be three. A lot depends on who we're really going to be involved with and what happens as the late signing period approaches.''