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Antonya English, Times Staff Writer

Antonya English

Antonya English has covered University of Florida sports for the Times since 2001, a tenure that has included three head football coaches and three national champions. A former news reporter, she moved to the sports department at the Gainesville Sun in 1993 for what she thought would be a short stint, and never looked back. She came to the Times from the Dallas Morning News in 1997.

Phone: (813) 226-3389

E-mail: english@tampabay.com

Blog: Gator Report

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  1. Former Gator David Eckstein is Florida's SEC Legend for 2015

    Blog

    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....

  2. Billy Donovan's departure may cost Gators a top recruit

    Blog

    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....

    Billy Donovan said he had talked with all four of the incoming recruits.
  3. Gators Kelsey Stewart and Lauren Haeger earn SEC Player and Pitcher of the Year honors

    Blog

    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....

  4. Florida Gators start search for Billy Donovan replacement

    College

    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 is leaving the Gators for the NBA. [Associated Press]
  5. Billy Donovan hopes to be remembered for more than wins and losses

    Blog

    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....

  6. Gators finish with eight players selected in 2015 NFL Draft

    Blog

    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....

  7. Gators offensive lineman D.J. Humphries selected No. 24 overall by Arizona Cardinals

    Blog

    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....

    D.J. 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.
  8. Jaguars take Gators' Dante Fowler with third pick

    College

    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....

    Dante Fowler, dressed sharply from head to toe, walks onto the stage at the draft in Chicago after the Jaguars pick him No. 3.
  9. Gators' Billy Donovan bolts for NBA's Thunder

    College

    GAINESVILLE — Billy Donovan, the coach who took over a fledgling Florida basketball program in 1996 and turned it into a national power, is leaving to become the coach of the NBA's Oklahoma City Thunder, walking away after 19 seasons and two national titles.

    Donovan, 49, becomes the third head coach for the Oklahoma City franchise, replacing Scott Brooks, who was fired on April 22. Although the Thunder did not release terms of his contract per team policy, Donovan agreed to a five-year deal worth $30 million, ESPN and Yahoo Sports reported....

    After toying with the NBA, Billy Donovan finally leaves Gainesville after 19 years, two national titles.
  10. Billy Donovan leaving Gators for NBA's Oklahoma City Thunder

    Blog

    Billy Donovan is leaving Florida for the NBA.

    Donovan 49, has been hired as the new head coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Florida and Oklahoma City officials announced this afternoon.

    Donovan leaves after 19 seasons and two national titles at Florida. He joined the Gators’ staff in 1996 after spending two years at Marshall University – his first head coaching job.

    Donovan is the third head coach for the OKC franchise....

    Gators head coach Billy Donovan looks on during the second half of the Nov. 21 game against Louisiana Monroe at the O'Connell Center in Gainesville.
  11. Is Oklahoma City really an ideal NBA job for Billy Donovan?

    Blog

    Much of the talk surrounding whether Billy Donovan should leave Florida and become the head coach for the Oklahoma City Thunder has centered around the notion that this is the ideal NBA situation for Donovan.

    He has a longstanding relationship with general manager Sam Presti and the Thunder has two of the best young players in the league in Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.

    But not everyone is so certain it's a ready-made situation for success for Donovan....

    Gators head coach Billy Donovan looks on during the second half of the Nov. 21 game against Louisiana Monroe at the O'Connell Center in Gainesville.
  12. Florida coach Billy Donovan in talks to join Oklahoma City Thunder

    College

    GAINESVILLE — Florida's Billy Donovan is in discussions with the Oklahoma City Thunder about its head coaching vacancy, and multiple reports said he is leaning toward accepting the NBA job.

    The Thunder was expected to make the hiring official today or Friday, espn.com reported. But si.com reported the deal was not as close as ESPN was reporting.

    Florida athletic officials are aware that the Thunder has been in contact with Donovan about replacing fired coach Scott Brooks. Neither the school nor Donovan had commented further as of Wednesday night....

    Billy Donovan, chatting with Devin Robinson, has coached the Gators to two national championships and four Final Fours in his 19 seasons in Gainesville.
  13. Yahoo Sports says OKC job is Billy Donovan's to lose

    Blog

    If Billy Donovan wants the Oklahoma City Thunder head coaching job, it's his for the taking according to sources for Yahoo Sports.

    Adrian Wojnarowski and Pat Forde of Yahoo Sports are reporting that Thunder management is preparing an offer for Donovan and are pushing for him to accept it.

    Yahoo says the deal most likely would have to be in the $6 million a year range. Donovan currently makes about $4 million annually with the Gators....

    If Billy Donovan wants the Oklahoma City Thunder head coaching job, it's his for the taking according to sources for Yahoo Sports.
  14. ESPN sources: Billy Donovan opens talk with Oklahoma City

    Blog

    ESPN is reporting that Florida basketball coach Billy Donovan has opened talks with the Oklahoma City Thunder about its vacant head coaching job.

    According to Marc Stein of ESPN.com, league sources have told him that the Thunder have formally commenced discussions about their vacant coaching job with Donovan.

    Donovan, 49, recently agreed to a contract extension with the Gators through 2020, but when OKC coach Scott Brooks was fired last week, Donovan's name immediately emerged as among the leading candidates....

    Billy Donovan, 49, recently agreed to a contract extension with the Gators through 2020.
  15. Gators guard Eli Carter to transfer

    Blog

    Redshirt junior guard Eli Carter has decided to transfer.

    Carter, who will graduate in May, will be eligible to play immediately at another school.

    “I’ll always appreciate the coaches, teammates and fans that made my time here memorable," Carter said.

    His departure is the third for the Gators over the past month. Junior G Michael Frazier and sophomore F/C Chris Walker have both declared for the NBA Draft....