Donovan says he's committed to UF
Unlike two years ago when rumors of his impending departure to Kentucky circulated for weeks, Florida coach Billy Donovan has decided to attempt to stop the rumors quickly, following the firing of Kentucky coach Billy Gillispie.
The Florida athletic department released a statement this afternoon from Donovan which seems to indicate he will not pursue the Kentucky job.
“In response to the rumors circulating about my interest in other jobs, I wanted to address this as quickly as possible,'' the statement read.. "I am committed to the University of Florida and look forward to continuing to build our program here."
Gillispie was fired on Friday after two seasons in which the Wildcats went 40-27. He had a seven-year deal with Kentucky that paid him a base salary of $2.3 million annually. Kentucky lost eight of their last 11 games this season.
That put Donovan at the center of the rumor mill. And it was running wild.
An Orlando TV station reported that Donovan had informed UF athletic director Jeremy Foley he was resigning. A story out of New York said Donovan had pulled his players out of class on Friday to inform them he was leaving.
Several reports had Donovan flying to Lexington to meet with Kentucky officials, but his father said the coach was at his family vacation home in Crescent Beach.
Donovan was involved in a similar situation two years ago when former UK coach Tubby Smith resigned while the Gators were in the midst of a national championship run. Donovan eventually turned Kentucky down, and later took a job with the Orlando Magic, only to back out and return to Florida one week later.