GAINESVILLE — For Michael White, coaching basketball at Florida was the dream job, the perfect scenario.
An up-and-coming coaching star after rebuilding a Louisiana Tech program he took over four years ago, White drew offers from bigger, more prestigious schools as early as last season.
He rebuffed Missouri, then Tennessee. Because in his heart, he knew something better was out there....
Michael White was born in Dunedin, but never spent more than two weeks there.
On Monday, he returned to the state where his life began to take on the biggest challenge of his young coaching career.
White, 38, made his first appearance as Florida's new head men's basketball coach saying it is his duty to continue the legacy former coach Billy Donovan established.
"It's an absolute honor of mine to replace Billy Donovan, one of the best coaches in the history of this game," White said. "I have tremendous respect and admiration for the legacy that he leaves, and it's my charge to continue the momentum that he's maintained for an amazing 19 years."...
GAINESVILLE — The search for Florida's new gymnastics coach ended Saturday when the Gators hired former Auburn assistant Jenny Rowland. She replaces three-time national champion coach Rhonda Faehn, who resigned last month to take a job with USA Gymnastics.
Rowland, 40, was hired as an assistant at Auburn in 2010, and was named associate head coach in 2013. In April, she was named the co-national assistant coach of the year after helping Auburn reach the NCAA Super Six for the first time in 22 years....
Former Florida DL and new member of the Jacksonville Jaguars Dante Fowler, Jr. suffered a knee injury during his first workout with the Jags today at the team's rookie camp.
Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley said: "He's being evaluated. We'll know more tonight," according to the team's official website.
Fowler, as St. Petersburg native, was the No. 3 overall selection in the 2015 NFL Draft this past week, becoming the highest drafted player ever out of Pinellas County....
GAINESVILLE — Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley said this week he planned to take his time in the search to find someone to replace basketball coach Billy Donovan. He needed to find the right fit, someone with many of the traits Donovan embodied, a coach "who can keep this thing going in the right direction."
Foley said the search could last until June. In the end, it took him just three days....
Former Gator and Tampa Plant alum Preston Tucker has been called up to the majors for the Houston Astros.
Tucker was called up from Class AAA Fresno to replace George Springer and will meet the team in Anaheim where the Astros are scheduled to start a four-game series with the Angels tonight.
Springer was placed on the seven-day concussion disabled list Wednesday after he crashed, face-first, into the right field wall Tuesday at Minute Maid Park....
According to reports, Louisiana Tech coach Michael White has emerged as a leading candidate to replace former Florida coach Billy Donovan.
Pat Forde of Yahoo Sports, citing sources, said White could meet with Florida athletic officials as early as today.
White, 38, has led Louisiana Tech to a 101-40 record in four seasons.
Donovan, 49, resigned last week after 19 seasons with the Gators to become the head coach with the Oklahoma City Thunder....
Former Gator standout David Eckstein is among four players to be honored as SEC Legends for the Class of 2015, the league announced today.
Eckstein joins Andy Phillips Alabama); Mark Johnson Texas A&M) and Larry Schmittou (Vanderbilt). Four legends are recognized each year, with representatives from Arkansas, Georgia, Auburn and Kentucky set to be honored in 2016.
The SEC Legends will be honored at the 2015 SEC Baseball Tournament May 19-24 at the Hoover Met in Hoover, Ala. Each legend will be recognized individually throughout the two quarterfinal matchups on Friday and will have on-field recognition and an awards presentation by SEC Commissioner Mike Slive on Saturday, May 23, during the semifinals of the SEC Tournament....
At his farewell press conference on Monday, former Florida coach Billy Donovan said he believed the four incoming recruits for the 2015 Gators basketball class would need time to process his decision to leave after 19 years.
Now it appears Donovan's departure for a job with the Oklahoma City Thunder has at least one rethinking his decision to attend Florida.
The Arkansas Democrat Gazette is reporting that shooting guard KeVaughn Allen plans to ask out of his Letter of Intent....
Florida's Kelsey Stewart was named SEC Player of the Year and teammate Lauren Haeger was named SEC Pitcher of the Year, the league anounced today.
Junior Kirsti Merritt joins Haeger and Stewart as First Team All-SEC selections, while infielder Nicole DeWitt and utility player Aleshia Ocasio earned spots on the Freshman All-SEC team. Florida is the top fielding team in the country according to the latest NCAA statistics, and Stewart and Kathlyn Medina were selected to the SEC All-Defensive team....
GAINESVILLE — When the Oklahoma City Thunder fired Scott Brooks on April 22, Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley knew there was a good chance Billy Donovan might be leaving for that job, so he began thinking about who his next basketball coach might be.
Donovan is leaving after 19 years in Gainesville, and it has been an emotional few days for Foley. But the time has come to put those emotions aside and begin the task of finding Donovan's successor....
Billy Donovan won 502 games and two national titles at Florida.
But when people look back on his impact with the Gators and remember his legacy, Donovan, who is leaving after 19 years to become the head coach with the NBA's Oklahoma City Thunders, hopes he'll be judged by more than just wins and losses.
"I think that people will always look at wins and losses and those kinds of things," Donovan said Monday at his farewell press conference. "I hope that I'm able to leave a big gaping hole here, and I don't mean that from an arrogant standpoint. I mean that that I was able to make an impact. That I was able to impact people's lives. That I was able to bring value to people. That I was able to help
people grow from staff to players to the administration....
At final tally, the Florida Gators had eight players selected in the 2015 NFL Draft.
In today's final rounds, four Gators were selected.
The eight players drafted is two shy of the school record, and the Gators had six offensive players taken in same draft for the first time since 1978 (eight rounds).
Offensive lineman Max Garcia was a fourth round selection by the Denver Broncos today. LB Neiron Ball was selected in the fourth round, WR Andre Debose was taken in the seventh round - both by the Oakland Raiders. OL Trenton Brown was the final Gator picked as he was selected by the San Francisco 49ers in the seventh round....
Former Florida offensive lineman D.J. Humphries was selected No. 24 overall by the Arizona Cardinals in the NFL Draft Thursday night.
Humphries is the first Gator offensive lineman selected in the first round since Mike Pouncey was the 15th overall pick to the Miami Dolphins in 2011.
The Gators have now had six first round draft picks in the last three years. Earlier Thursday, Dante Fowler, Jr. was selected at No. 3 overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars....
When he had a chance to meet with the Jaguars, Dante Fowler told team officials they needed him. And if they selected him in the NFL draft, he would make sure they didn't regret it.
Jacksonville took him up on that offer Thursday night.
Fowler, a St. Petersburg native and former Lakewood High standout, was the No. 3 overall pick by the Jaguars, the highest someone who played at a Tampa Bay high school has ever been drafted. The former Gator surpassed Florida running back Larry Smith (Robinson High), who was drafted No. 8 by the Los Angeles Rams in 1969....