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Billy Donovan to Magic


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According to a pair of sources close to the situation, the Magic offered the job to Donovan Wednesday night and barring any last-minute breakdown in negotiations, he's expected to accept the offer and replace Brian Hill as Orlando's coach.

Donovan is coming off back-to-back national titles with the Gators and was set to sign a lucrative, long-term extension at some point in the next couple weeks.

He had lost nearly his entire team after Joakim Noah, Al Horford, Corey Brewer and Taurean Green all decided to go pro and sign with agents. Seniors Lee Humphrey and Chris Richard also graduated.

Shortly after winning the second national title in April, Donovan spurned interest from Kentucky to remain in Gainesville.

However, Donovan has never denied the fact that he would be interested in coaching in the NBA. He recently told FOXSports.com that he was happy at Florida and would only leave for an ideal situation.

The job in Orlando could be ideal since it's close in proximity ? and the Magic have one of the best young stars in the game in big man Dwight Howard. Orlando will also have some salary cap relief as Grant Hill's contract expires this season.

Good move, he has already topped the college game.

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According to a pair of sources close to the situation, the Magic offered the job to Donovan Wednesday night and barring any last-minute breakdown in negotiations, he's expected to accept the offer and replace Brian Hill as Orlando's coach.

Donovan is coming off back-to-back national titles with the Gators and was set to sign a lucrative, long-term extension at some point in the next couple weeks.

He had lost nearly his entire team after Joakim Noah, Al Horford, Corey Brewer and Taurean Green all decided to go pro and sign with agents. Seniors Lee Humphrey and Chris Richard also graduated.

Shortly after winning the second national title in April, Donovan spurned interest from Kentucky to remain in Gainesville.

However, Donovan has never denied the fact that he would be interested in coaching in the NBA. He recently told FOXSports.com that he was happy at Florida and would only leave for an ideal situation.

The job in Orlando could be ideal since it's close in proximity ? and the Magic have one of the best young stars in the game in big man Dwight Howard. Orlando will also have some salary cap relief as Grant Hill's contract expires this season.

Good move, he has already topped the college game.

Yeah, but the College game is 10 times better than the Pro game.

He should learn from his mentor, Rick Pitino, on this. He tried the NBA twice and is back in the college game where he belongs. Donovan is a perfect college coach, who could be successful in the NBA, but is by far better than that.

Billy, don't be a fool. Stay in school.

... or, if you prefer...

:music:"Billy, don't be a Hero... Don't be a Fool with your Life..." :music:

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If the reports are true, he will earn $2 million more with the Magic than at the peak of his offer from teh Gators. This is a no brainer, if true. He must take the Magic offer. If he fails, he can easily go back to NCAA with the same contracts of the most in-demand coaches 2 to 4 years from now. Plus, Otis Smith may be out as GM, and he could have total control too. Take the money to try, he's got a guaranteed fallback with any major school.

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From ESPN.com

Donovan taking big-money deal to coach Magic

ESPN.com news services

Updated: May 31, 2007, 6:22 PM ET

Billy Donovan will be named the head coach of the Orlando Magic on Friday, several sources have told ESPN.

The announcement is scheduled to be made at 11 a.m. ET, sources told ESPN.com's Pat Forde.

Thursday, after weeks of waiting for the University of Florida to finalize his new seven-year contract, the Magic offered Donovan big-money deal. Sources say the deal is shorter and smaller than original reports of a six-year, $36 million deal. The Associated Press said the deal is a five-year, $27.5 million contract.

"We're not worried about hiring a college coach -- not this college coach," a source told Forde. "He's proven he's won. He's young and he works well with a young team. This team is one step above a college team right now, it's so young. They're just learning how to play together, and someone like Billy will be perfect.

"I also don't think this job is as bad as some of the others that college coaches have walked into. It's not like he's inheriting a bad team, and that's usually the case for a college guy making the transition. The hardest part was for Billy. It was a tough decision for him because of everything that's happened at Florida, because of what he's built there. he was happy there."

The source said that Donovan will have no front-office responsibilities. "He's just the coach," the source said.

After leading the Gators to the last two national championships, the 42-year-old Donovan recieved a big-money offer Friday afternoon. Team officials told the Orlando Sentinel, which first reported the story on its Web site, that Donovan was expected to take the job earlier in the afternoon.

The sources added the Magic job has been the toughest decision he's had to make, much more so than any early offer from Memphis and even more so than Kentucky's contract offer. The part that makes the offer potentially palatable is that it is close enough to his Gainsville home that could it make it a smooth transition. Donovan's parents, in-laws and sister all have a home in Gainsville and the sources said that if there was a job that he would seriously consider it would be this one because of the proximity to his family.

Now that the offer is public, multiple sources said Donovan will have to make a quicker decision. If he does accept the job, expect Florida to act quickly and possibly stay within the family with former Florida assistant Anthony Grant, who led VCU to the NCAA Tournament second round in his first season with the Rams. VCU beat Duke in the first round.

Donovan's new contract at Florida -- it was presented to him on May 17 but he had yet to sign it as of May 25 -- was to pay him around $3 million in the first year. The contract then was to escalate to more than $3.75 in guaranteed income by the end of the contract in 2013-14, a person familiar with the negotiations told ESPN.com

There is precedent for a college coach turning down the NBA. Former Atlanta Hawks general manager Pete Babcock said Thursday that the Hawks thought Michigan State coach Tom Izzo was going to accept their job when they offered it a few years ago. The same thing occurred when Duke's Mike Krzyzewski turned down a lucrative offer to coach the Los Angeles Lakers.

The 42-year-old Donovan is one of only 12 college basketball coaches to win multiple national championships. The Gators won their second straight in April after beating Ohio State.

The Magic removed Brian Hill as coach on May 23 after two consecutive losing seasons and a first-round sweep in this year's playoffs.

Information from ESPN.com's Pat Forde, Andy Katz and Mark Schlabach was used in this report.

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From ESPN.com

Donovan taking big-money deal to coach Magic

ESPN.com news services

Updated: May 31, 2007, 6:22 PM ET

Billy Donovan will be named the head coach of the Orlando Magic on Friday, several sources have told ESPN.

The announcement is scheduled to be made at 11 a.m. ET, sources told ESPN.com's Pat Forde.

Thursday, after weeks of waiting for the University of Florida to finalize his new seven-year contract, the Magic offered Donovan big-money deal. Sources say the deal is shorter and smaller than original reports of a six-year, $36 million deal. The Associated Press said the deal is a five-year, $27.5 million contract.

"We're not worried about hiring a college coach -- not this college coach," a source told Forde. "He's proven he's won. He's young and he works well with a young team. This team is one step above a college team right now, it's so young. They're just learning how to play together, and someone like Billy will be perfect.

"I also don't think this job is as bad as some of the others that college coaches have walked into. It's not like he's inheriting a bad team, and that's usually the case for a college guy making the transition. The hardest part was for Billy. It was a tough decision for him because of everything that's happened at Florida, because of what he's built there. he was happy there."

The source said that Donovan will have no front-office responsibilities. "He's just the coach," the source said.

After leading the Gators to the last two national championships, the 42-year-old Donovan recieved a big-money offer Friday afternoon. Team officials told the Orlando Sentinel, which first reported the story on its Web site, that Donovan was expected to take the job earlier in the afternoon.

The sources added the Magic job has been the toughest decision he's had to make, much more so than any early offer from Memphis and even more so than Kentucky's contract offer. The part that makes the offer potentially palatable is that it is close enough to his Gainsville home that could it make it a smooth transition. Donovan's parents, in-laws and sister all have a home in Gainsville and the sources said that if there was a job that he would seriously consider it would be this one because of the proximity to his family.

Now that the offer is public, multiple sources said Donovan will have to make a quicker decision. If he does accept the job, expect Florida to act quickly and possibly stay within the family with former Florida assistant Anthony Grant, who led VCU to the NCAA Tournament second round in his first season with the Rams. VCU beat Duke in the first round.

Donovan's new contract at Florida -- it was presented to him on May 17 but he had yet to sign it as of May 25 -- was to pay him around $3 million in the first year. The contract then was to escalate to more than $3.75 in guaranteed income by the end of the contract in 2013-14, a person familiar with the negotiations told ESPN.com

There is precedent for a college coach turning down the NBA. Former Atlanta Hawks general manager Pete Babcock said Thursday that the Hawks thought Michigan State coach Tom Izzo was going to accept their job when they offered it a few years ago. The same thing occurred when Duke's Mike Krzyzewski turned down a lucrative offer to coach the Los Angeles Lakers.

The 42-year-old Donovan is one of only 12 college basketball coaches to win multiple national championships. The Gators won their second straight in April after beating Ohio State.

The Magic removed Brian Hill as coach on May 23 after two consecutive losing seasons and a first-round sweep in this year's playoffs.

Information from ESPN.com's Pat Forde, Andy Katz and Mark Schlabach was used in this report.

Little late on this one, dude.

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Wow, Florida thought they dodged the bullet.

Then a job that's in the same state, with more money, and more opportunity popped up, and he bit at it.

Good luck Coach, you're gonna need it.

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Awww Man... Good Move for the Magic, I thought he was going to say no and stay at Florida and wait for the day Riley steps down from the Heat. I like this move, now Orlando need to use that salary cap money and make a big splash in free agency and they would have the best summer.

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Frankly, Donovan's walking into a million-times better situation with the Magic than Pitino did with the Celts, Calipari did with the Nets or Kruger did with the Hawks.

And six million per annum? Who the heck is gonna turn that down? Seriously, that's almost double what UF is paying - and NO MORE RECRUITING!

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Bad move. He'll be a miserable flop and be back in College ball by 2009. When are these college coaches going to learn? Still I can't blame the guy for making a cash grab for a couple years.

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I think this is a good move, at least in the short term. Remember, Florida lost their 6 top scorers, including that "Fab Five" that earned him two national championships. I highly doubt that the new recruits would be enough to put Florida in position to win a title. Add in the fact that he is getting a lot of money to coach a team full of college-age (and more talented) youngsters like Dwight Howard (who would've been a college senior this upcoming season), and 6M a year, and who wouldn't take the job?

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Donovan better know what he's doing.

He had the opportunity to be Florida's version of Coach K and become the new dominant team of the SEC like Kentucky used to be.

Heres the thing in Gainsville, he could win 50 Championships, Football will always be king in Florida. So becoming Coach K would be in basketbal terms only, as Urban Meyer would be the BMOC.

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Donovan better know what he's doing.

He had the opportunity to be Florida's version of Coach K and become the new dominant team of the SEC like Kentucky used to be.

Heres the thing in Gainsville, he could win 50 Championships, Football will always be king in Florida. So becoming Coach K would be in basketbal terms only, as Urban Meyer would be the BMOC.

It has nothing to do with football.

It's about stability, being given basically a lifetime contract, building a program his way and dominating a league.....

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I think this is a really smart move on Donovan's part.

This year's Florida team will be far different then the back-to-back championship teams. By taking the money and the Orlando job, he's already better off then most college coaches who make the jump because unlike those coaches, who have to rebulid a franchise most times, he has a decent team that almost made the playoffs and a great talent in Dwight Howard that he can build around.

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Florida lost their 6 top scorers, including that "Fab Five" that earned him two national championships. I highly doubt that the new recruits would be enough to put Florida in position to win a title.

So a college coach should bail for another job when things get a little tough? Regardless, I don't think Billy Donovan is going to enjoy going 42-40 in the NBA and getting hammered by the media and his players as much as he enjoyed being an icon in Gainesville.

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Bad move. He'll be a miserable flop and be back in College ball by 2009. When are these college coaches going to learn? Still I can't blame the guy for making a cash grab for a couple years.

Yeah, and he had a great thing at Florida, like Pitino did at Kentucky. But once he flops in the NBA, or simply realizes it's not for him, then we he comes back to the NCAA, more than likely it won't be at Florida, which is where he established himself, won back-to-back titles, and where he was worshiped. Coaches who go pro only to return always wind up somewhere below where they were before they left. Sure, he could wind up at a top program, but is it going to have the same magic (no pun intended) as Florida. I know they may not win another title for awhile, but it's still not gonna be the same feeling for him as it was at Florida.

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