JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The most successful coach in Florida men’s basketball history is getting his own piece of the hardwood floor in Gainesville.
All of it.
The school announced on Friday that the court at Florida will be named for former Gators coach Billy Donovan. It will be introduced on Feb. 15, 2020, during Florida’s game against Vanderbilt.
Donovan spent 19 years with the Gators, leading the team to back-to-back national championships and four NCAA Final Four appearances. He won 20 games 16 times and was 467-185 at Florida.
Donovan was told in person by current Gators athletic director Scott Stricklin and former AD Jeremy Foley, who hired Donovan in 1996.
“I was totally shocked,” Donovan said in a statement. “It was really emotional. I didn’t anticipate this. I’m thankful, I’m honored and just incredibly humbled by it all.”
Donovan left the Gators in 2015 for the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder.
“It had been on my radar for some time, and Jeremy had made it clear it was something that was important to him,” Stricklin said in a release. “During my time at Kentucky, I had a front-row seat for the impact Billy made, not just on the Florida program, but our league. You saw the kind of coach and person he was, and the respect he had around the country. This was just an obvious way to honor him.”