Billy Donovan his career, legacy, and the future

William John Donovan Jr. is the name he was born with. But he’s known by a few other names… to most of us it’s Billy Donovan, and others call him BillyD or Billy “The Kid”.  The latter isn’t so fitting any more. Coach Donovan will turn 47 years old this year, he is the Dean of the SEC Coaches, and has been at Florida for 16 seasons. A “Kid” he is not.

The University of Florida is a football school. Florida basketball fans are in denial if they think otherwise. However, you can make a strong argument that the most successful National Championship winning coach at Florida ever is Billy Donovan (no offense to Mike Halloway).  Coach Donovan has a sick resume in his 16 seasons at UF.  He has put Florida into the NCAA Tournament 12 times, has 3 Final Four appearances, 2 Championships, and a pretty good record of sending talent to the league:

Donovan has consistently recruited a specific type of player. He doesn’t always get it right, example Florida’s record on transfers has NOT been stellar, but Coach Donovan has often had over achieving teams.  You can see Coach Donovan’s yearly records and his Tournament results below…

Year Overall Conference SEC Standing Tournament Result
1996 13–17 5–11 5th (East)
1997 14–15 6–10 6th (East) NIT 1st Round
1998 22–9 10–6 3rd (East) NCAA Sweet Sixteen
1999 29–8 12–4 T–1st (East) NCAA Runner-up
2000 24–7 12–4 T–1st (East) NCAA 2nd Round
2001 22–9 10–6 T–1st (East) NCAA 1st Round
2002 25–8 12–4 2nd (East) NCAA 2nd Round
2003 20–11 9–7 2nd (East) NCAA 1st Round
2004 24–8 12–4 2nd (East) NCAA 2nd Round
2005 33–6 10–6 2nd (East) NCAA Champions
2006 35–5 13–3 1st (East) NCAA Champions
2007 24–12 8–8 4th (East) NIT Semifinals
2008 25–11 9–7 3rd (East) NIT Quarterfinals
2009 21–13 9–7 4th (East) NCAA 1st Round
2010 29–8 13–3 1st (East) NCAA Elite Eight
2011 26–10 10–6 T–2nd TBD

Today Coach Donovan’s Gators prepare for an Elite 8 Tournament match up against Rick Pitino’s Louisville Cardinals. A lot has been made of Donovan’s 0-6 record against his mentor Pitino. It is true Pitino has owned Donovan, but the 2011-2012 Gators have been playing their best basketball of the year during the tournament and that is with the team not shooting so hot from three point land. If the Gators can put it all together today then Louisville is in big trouble, and Donovan will have his fourth Final Four appearance in 16 seasons. Follow us on twitter –>  BourbonMeyer or on Facebook –> BourbonMeyer for game updates and witty commentary.  Here’s how you can watch the game…

Time: 4:30pm (EST)
Online Video:

Assuming Coach Donovan chooses to continue coaching, he is surely destined to be remembered as one of the top coaches in college basketball. He routinely is one top recruit away. Perhaps another Final Four appearance with over achieving talent will change that.

*Please note: we purposefully skipped the part of Coach Donovan’s history when he spurn Florida for the Orlando Magic. We choose to remember only the happy times. Go Gators!!*

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3 Responses to Billy Donovan his career, legacy, and the future

  1. Averagegatorguy says:

    Don’t for get the draft rights of Nick Calathes to the Mav’s (even though he is playing overseas, he was still drafted).

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