Billy Donovan, 19-year head coach of the Gator Men’s Basketball team, will be honored Saturday night when the University of Florida basketball court gets a new name. The floor of Exatech Arena will be known as “Billy Donovan Court” as of tomorrow night. The dedication will take place when the Gators take on SEC opponent Vanderbilt at 8 p.m.
Donovan’s Deeds at UF
Donovan began his tenure in Gainesville in 1996. He led the Gators to six SEC regular-season Championships, four league tournament titles, 14 NCAA Tournaments appearances and four Final Fours.
Not to mention, Florida won back-to-back National Championships under Donovan in 2006 and 2007. This remains the only time in the past 25 years where a men’s basketball team won back-to-back titles. Also, The Gators ranked No. 1 nationally in five different seasons under Donovan.
To say the man was successful at Florida is an understatement.
Over 19 seasons, Donovan racked up a 467-185 record.
In 2015, he took a job in the NBA and became the Oklahoma City Thunder’s heads coach.
How it All Went Down
In early October, UF athletic director Scott Stricklin and his predecessor, Jeremy Foley, took a trip to Oklahoma to tour Oklahoma and Oklahoma State campus facilities, or that’s what they said at least.
They met Donovan and his wife for dinner one evening to “catch up”.
However, that wasn’t exactly the purpose of their trip. Donovan “sensed” something was up.
Stricklin and Foley delivered the exciting news that night in Oklahoma.
After tomorrow, the O’Dome court will forever be attached to Donovan’s name.
Story can also be found at wruf.com for ESPN Gainesville.