Friday, December 16, 2011
Gators sign Billy Donovan through 2016
By Michael DiRocco GatorNation
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- The University of Florida announced Friday that basketball coach Billy Donovan has signed the five-year contract he agreed to several months ago, a deal that will keep him in Gainesville through the 2015-2016 season and take his tenure at the school to 20 years.
The new contract is for the same $3.5 million annual salary Donovan was given shortly after he won the second of Florida's back-to-back national championships in 2007.
Billy Donovan is 402-169 in 18-plus years overall, which includes two seasons at Marshall before coming to Florida in 1996.
Donovan is 367-149 in his 15-plus seasons at Florida, which includes the 2006 and 2007 national championships and a trip to the 2000 national championship game.
His .711 winning percentage is the second-best all-time mark of coaches through their first 500 games at a Southeastern Conference school. Only legendary Kentucky coach Adolph Rupp has a better winning percentage at .842.
Donovan is 402-169 in 18-plus years overall, which includes two seasons at Marshall before coming to Florida in 1996. The Gators have won four regular-season SEC titles under Donovan -- in 2000, '01, '07, and '11.
Donovan was making $1.7 million annually before he led the Gators to the 2006 national title and agreed in principle on a contract extension that was expected to pay him $2 million per year, but Donovan said in October 2006 that he would not sign the deal until after the 2006-07 season because he didn't want to take advantage of the Gators' first national title after three of his players -- Joakim Noah, Al Horford and Corey Brewer -- passed up the NBA to return for their junior season.
Donovan left the program following Florida's second national championship to become the coach of the Orlando Magic, but changed his mind and returned to Florida four days later. Upon his return, the school announced he would be paid $3.5 million annually.
Michael DiRocco covers University of Florida sports for GatorNation. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @ESPNdirocco.