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Gator Report

Antonya English

Donovan: Contract not an issue

Billy Donovan said his contract situation didn't have any effect on his decision to leave the the University of Florida to accept a reported five-year, $27.5 million offer to coach the NBA's Orlando Magic.

"In my mind and in my heart, that was never an issue at all,'' Donovan said during a news conference late Friday afternoon in Gainesville.

Saying "this is very hard for me,'' Donovan addressed the media alongside UF athletic director Jeremy Foley. Donovan, 42, made three Final Fours and won two national championships in 11 years as head coach of the Gators.

"Something special at the University of Florida has come to an end,'' Foley said.

Donovan publicly praised Foley, who hired him at UF. "I was very grateful I was able to work with the best in that field,'' Donovan said.

Donovan, wearing a blue polo shirt and shorts, dressed much more casually than earlier in the day, when he wore a sharp suit to a news conference in Orlando, where he was introduced as the eighth coach and third-youngest in the Magic's 18 seasons.

"I'm just happy and grateful I could be a part of what's happened in this program in the last 11 years,'' Donovan said.

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 12:16pm]

    

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