Wednesday, April 4, 2007
Updated: April 5, 9:54 AM ET
Donovan says Kentucky yet to contact him
ESPN.com news services
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- Florida coach Billy Donovan says he has yet to be contacted by Kentucky about the Wildcats' coaching vacancy.
But if they called, he'd listen, Donovan said Wednesday night.
"If I was contacted by them, that would be something that I
would have to think about," said Donovan, a former Kentucky assistant under Rick Pitino. "But I think because
I've been going so crazy, haven't dealt with my phone, haven't
dealt with that stuff."
Sources last week told ESPN.com that Donovan is the Wildcats' top choice to replace Tubby Smith and that Kentucky is prepared to offer Donovan a seven-year contract worth at least $2.8 million per season.
Speaking before a fundraising dinner at Marshall University on
Wednesday night, Donovan said he needs time to
"decompress" following the Gators' second straight national
championship, though he endorsed current Florida assistant head
coach Donnie Jones for the head coaching job at Marshall.
"I think Donnie's ready," said Donovan, who coached at
Marshall from 1994-96 before moving on to Florida.
Jones might be, but Donovan remains uncertain about his future.
He said he hasn't been contacted about the Kentucky job since
leaving the Georgia Dome after Florida beat Ohio State on Monday night.
Donovan was the featured speaker at the university's annual Big
Green Foundation Dinner at the Cam Henderson Center.
Donovan did it as a favor to the school, which had asked Donovan
several times over the last few years to speak at the fundraising
event. When he booked the engagement, he probably didn't anticipate
the reception he received during the news conference.
The center's media parking lot was filled with satellite trucks
from as far away as Louisville, three hours to the west, and the
press room was packed with double the normal turnout for the
dinner's featured speaker.
Most of the media wanted answers about Donovan's future, but
after a hectic two days following Florida's historic win, Donovan
said he'll take his time before addressing the road ahead.
"I haven't had a lot of time to think about myself or what I
want to do," Donovan said. "There'll be a time and place for
that. This is not the time and place. This is about Marshall."
The answers may have to wait awhile. Donovan said he's planning
to meet with Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley to
talk. An on-campus celebration is scheduled at the O'Connell Center
on Friday, and on Saturday, Donovan and his family will leave for
vacation in the Dominican Republic.
"I think [it's time] to take a deep breath, take a step back
and do some thinking and some soul searching," he said. "People
want things to happen quickly, but I need some time to decompress
and take a deep breath."
Donovan, however, had plenty to say about Jones, a former
Marshall assistant who has been with Donovan at Florida since he
took the job in 1996.
"My feeling is Marshall and Donnie will talk," he said. "It's
a very attractive job. It's a great basketball town. There's great
support here. I think Donnie and Marshall will talk."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
"I think [it's time] to take a deep breath, take a step back and do some thinking and some soul searching. People want things to happen quickly, but I need some time to decompress and take a deep breath."
-- Billy Donovan