Report: Magic offer coaching gig to Donovan
Orlando, FL (Sports Network) – As expected, Billy Donovan will coach
basketball in Florida next season. According to an Orlando newspaper, however,
it may not be in Gainesville.
The Orlando Sentinel reported Thursday that the Orlando Magic have made a
sizeable contract offer to the 42-year-old wunderkind, who has been a hot
commodity in coaching circles since cutting the nets for the second straight
year for the Gators, the first repeat NCAA men’s champs since Duke in 1991-92.
The days after Florida’s 84-75 win over Ohio State in the title game saw
speculation mount that Donovan would jump ship to Southeastern Conference
rival Kentucky, but the Providence College alumnus remained at Florida, where
he has coached since 1996.
Donovan, who had a brief playing career in the NBA in 1987 and 1988 with the
New York Knicks, has compiled a 296-123 mark in 12 years as a collegiate
coach, the first two spent at Marshall University. After two losing seasons to
start his stint with the Gators, Donovan has led Florida to nine straight NCAA
Tournament appearances, including a loss in the 2000 national championship
game before his back-to-back wins in 2006 and 2007.
The Sentinel story went on to say that Donovan was expected to accept the
Magic’s offer, according to a team source. Florida and Donovan are in the
midst of negotiating a contract extension.
The Magic fired Brian Hill on May 23 after two consecutive losing seasons, and
a sweep at the hands of the Detroit Pistons in the first round of the playoffs