Men's Basketball Headline
By Chris Harry
GatorZone.com Contributing Writer
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- University of Florida men’s basketball coach Billy Donovan has signed a three-year contract extension that locks up the winningest coach in school history through the 2015-16 season.
The financial conditions of the extension are the same as those Donovan agreed to after he guided the Gators to a second straight national championship in the spring of 2007.
Donovan has built one of the elite programs in the country at the University of
Florida, he and his family have given 16 incredible years to this institution
and community,” said Florida athletics director Jeremy Foley. “His accomplishments
speak for themselves, but he’s also achieved success with integrity, character
and loyalty. We’re thrilled that he will continue to lead our program for years
Donovan, 46, is in his 16th season at UF and already has set school records with 14 consecutive postseason appearances, including 11 NCAA Tournament berths, three trips to the Final Four and those back-to-back national titles in 2006 and ’07. Donovan and Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski are the only coaches to capture consecutive NCAA championships since the legendary John Wooden led UCLA to the last of their seven straight in 1973.
Earlier this month, Donovan passed the 400-victory milestone in what is now the 18th overall season of a career that began with two seasons at Marshall before Foley came calling in March '96. Donovan's record at Florida stands at 367-149 (a winning percentage of .711) as the No. 13 Gators (7-2) ready for Saturday’s date against No. 22 Texas A&M (8-1) in the MetroPCS Orange Bowl Classic at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Fla.
Before Donovan arrived at UF, the Gators had five NCAA Tournament berths and one Southeastern Conference championship in the program’s 77-year history.
Post-Donovan, the Gators own four SEC crowns (2000, ’01, ’07 and ’11) -- Kentucky is the only other team to win a conference title the last 31 years -- to go with three SEC Tournament championships (2005-07) and a basketball profile that not only rates as one of the highest in the nation, but has also sent eight first-round draft picks to the NBA.