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....
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....
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....
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....
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....
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....
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....
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....
Florida will open the 2015 basketball season in the Veterans Classic at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.
The event, which will be held on Nov. 13, will include North Carolina vs. Temple at 7 p.m., followed by Florida vs. Navy at 9:30 p.m. The games will be televised on the CBS Sports Network.
“We are proud to once again host the Veterans Classic and pay tribute to all veterans that served our country," Navy head coach Ed Dechellis said. "We have an outstanding field this year with Florida, North Carolina and Temple and for the young men coming to play it's an opportunity to live the life of a midshipman for a day. The teams will be on our campus during the week of Veterans Day and will interact with the Brigade of Midshipmen, active members of the military and veterans. We have some special things planned for the three visiting teams and it will be a great night of basketball as well. CBS Sports Network has been a great partner and they do an unbelievable job with the production of the event.”...
GAINESVILLE — Florida sophomore forward Chris Walker has declared for the NBA draft and will not return for his junior season. He joins junior guard Michael Frazier off the Gators' 2014-15 team to leave school early.
"I want to thank the coaching staff, my teammates and everyone at Florida for my experience here," Walker, who played in 49 games in his two-year UF career, said Friday. "I'm excited to continue pursuing my dream of playing professionally."...
He was expected to be one of the rare one-and-done players for Florida coach Billy Donovan.
Instead, Chris Walker is two-and-done.
Florida announced today that the sophomore forward has declared for the NBA Draft, and will not return for his junior season. During part of two seasons Walker played in 49 games for Florida.
Walker joins Michael Frazier II, of Tampa, as early entries off UF’s 2014-15 team....