43 Facts About Billy Donovan


Billy Donovan coached previously for the Oklahoma City Thunder from 2015 to 2020.


Billy Donovan was the starting point guard for Rick Pitino's Providence College squad and led the Friars to the 1987 Final Four.


Billy Donovan ended his professional basketball career in 1989 and briefly worked as a Wall Street stock broker before following Pitino to his new job at the University of Kentucky.


Billy Donovan served as an assistant coach for the Kentucky Wildcats men's basketball from 1989 to 1993, working his way from an unpaid graduate assistant to top assistant coach and lead recruiter under Pitino.


Billy Donovan was hired to revive Florida's basketball program in 1996.


Billy Donovan is the winningest coach in program history, and he led his teams to more NCAA tournament appearances, NCAA tournament wins, and Southeastern Conference championships than all of Florida's other basketball coaches combined.


Billy Donovan was born and raised in Rockville Centre on Long Island, New York along with an older sister, Margaret by his parents, Bill Billy Donovan Sr.

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Billy Donovan was described as a "gym rat" who would play basketball as often as possible, even sneaking into his high school gymnasium late at night to practice.


The Providence Friars played a slow tempo game under head coach Joe Mullaney and did not utilize many substitutions, so Billy Donovan averaged less than five minutes of playing time and three points per game during his first two seasons on the team.


Pitino scheduled introductory meetings with the players, during which Billy Donovan informed him that he wanted to transfer to Fairfield or Northeastern, both smaller schools where he might get more playing time.


Billy Donovan followed Pitino's advice and was named the Friars's starting point guard during his junior year.


Billy Donovan flourished in Pitino's system, which emphasized the new three-point shot on offense and an aggressive full-court press defense.


Billy Donovan was named to the 1987 All-Big East first team, the 1987 Big East All-Tournament team, and was an honorable mention All-American.


Billy Donovan was drafted by the Utah Jazz in the third round of the 1987 NBA draft, but was waived before the regular season began.


Billy Donovan signed with the Wyoming Wildcatters of the Continental Basketball Association, hoping for another chance to play in the NBA.


In December 1987, Billy Donovan was reunited with his college coach when the Knicks signed him to a one-year contract.


Billy Donovan had not received another NBA offer by the end of 1988 and came to the conclusion that he did not have a long-term future as a professional basketball player.


Billy Donovan left the CBA in January 1989 and took a job with a Wall Street investment banking firm.


Billy Donovan was "miserable" during his brief stint as a stock broker, and he especially hated the required cold-call stock sales.


Billy Donovan had not been a vocal leader as a player, and Pitino doubted if he had the necessary communication skills required for coaching, so he suggested that Billy Donovan give the financial sector more of a chance before rushing to change careers.


Billy Donovan called Pitino again in April 1989 to reaffirm his interest in coaching basketball.


The Wildcats quickly returned to national prominence, and Billy Donovan's coaching career progressed quickly as well.


In that position, Billy Donovan served as Pitino's top assistant during Kentucky's 1993 Final Four run, and he helped to recruit the members of UK's 1996 national championship team.


At Marshall, Billy Donovan installed the fast-paced offense and defensive schemes employed by Pitino.


Billy Donovan was successful on the recruiting trail, convincing nationally sought prep star Jason Williams to decline scholarship offers from more established programs and remain in state to attend Marshall.

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Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley sought a "young, energetic, and enthusiastic" coach to bring sustained success, and after a wide-ranging search, he decided that 30-year-old Billy Donovan was the best fit.


Still in his thirties, some commentators speculated that Billy Donovan was an excellent recruiter who was unable to make in-game adjustments or develop talented players once they were on the UF campus.


On December 20,2006, Billy Donovan became the winningest basketball coach in Florida history, earning his 236th win to surpass Norm Sloan's total.


On March 8,2011, Billy Donovan was named the 2011 SEC Coach of the Year.


Billy Donovan was named the SEC's Coach of the Year for the third time, and his players won many of the conference's individual awards.


Billy Donovan joined Bob Knight as the only coaches to reach 500 wins before turning 50 years old.


In 18 years at Florida, Billy Donovan led the Gators to 14 NCAA Tournament appearances, six SEC regular season titles and four SEC Tournament titles.


Billy Donovan struggled with the decision until June 1,2007 when he agreed to accept the Orlando Magic's contract offer, reportedly worth $27.5 million over five years.


Billy Donovan held an introductory press conference in Orlando on June 1,2007, followed by an emotional farewell press conference in Gainesville later that day.


The next morning Billy Donovan began having second thoughts about his decision, and informed Jeremy Foley and the Magic front office that he had changed his mind about leaving Florida.


Billy Donovan issued apologies to all involved parties, and the Orlando Magic soon after hired Stan Van Gundy as their head coach.


Billy Donovan has been chosen to be a head coach for USA Basketball on three occasions.


Some commentators have opined that Billy Donovan should've succeeded Mike Krzyzewski as the head coach of the United States men's national basketball team at the 2020 Summer Olympics.


Billy Donovan was recognized by his peers as the SEC Coach of the Year in 2011,2013 and 2014.


Billy Donovan is the daughter of Anthony J D'Auria and Patricia Ann Connor D'Auria, and a descendant of the Hasbrouck family.


Billy Donovan's parents bought a home in Gainesville in 1996, and Bill Billy Donovan Sr.


Billy Donovan has been described as politically conservative by some of his players and in the media; however, he is a registered independent.


Billy Donovan was instrumental in fund-raising and pushing for the development of a Catholic high school in Gainesville, which did not have a Catholic secondary school when Billy Donovan arrived at the University of Florida in 1996.