University of Florida head coach Billy Donovan was announced on Feb. 4, 2014 as head coach for the 2014 USA Men’s U18 National Team that will play in the 2014 FIBA Americas U18 Championship. This is Donovan's fourth opportunity to coach for USA Basketball.
In his first two campaigns as a U.S. head coach, Donovan led the USA to a 5-0 record and a gold medal at the 2012 FIBA Americas U18 Championship, which qualified the USA for the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship, where he led the USA to a 9-0 record and another gold medal. For his outstanding performance Donovan was named the 2013 USA Basketball co-National Coach of the Year, and his U19 squad was named the 2013 USA Basketball Team of the Year.
Donovan also served as a court coach for the 2011 USA Basketball Men’s U19 World Championship Team training camp.
“I’m honored to have the opportunity to work with USA Basketball again this summer,” Donovan said. “I’ve said it before, but anytime you are chosen to represent your country, that is really something special. USA Basketball is an outstanding organization, and I’m looking forward to another challenge at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship.
“I have a lot of respect for Sean Miller and Ed Cooley, and I’m really looking forward to coaching with them,” Donovan added. “I look at this as a collaborative effort between all of us, and I know it will be a great experience working alongside both men.”
Now in his 20th season as a collegiate head coach and his 18th year at the helm of the Florida Gators (1996-97 to present), Donovan has compiled an overall head coaching record of 479-208 (.703 winning percentage) and a record of 431-168 (.720 winning percentage) at Florida (all records as of Jan. 23).
Thus far in 2013-14, he has led his Gators to a 16-2 start and a No. 3 national rank in the AP Top 25.
While at Florida Donovan has won two NCAA national championships (2006 and 2007), made three NCAA title-game appearances (2000, 2006 and 2007) and reached 13 NCAA Tournaments. Additionally, he has won five Southeastern Conference (SEC) regular season championships (2000, 2001, 2007, 2011 and 2013) and three consecutive SEC Tournament championships (2005-2007). In the past nine seasons, he has led Florida to six Elite Eight appearances.
Donovan led his 2012-13 squad to a third straight NCAA Elite Eight appearance, an SEC regular season title and a 29-8 record, and he became the third coach to win 400 games at an SEC school, joining Adolph Rupp (Kentucky) and Dale Brown (LSU). He was named the SEC Coach of the Year for a second time (2011 and 2013) and the NABC District VI Coach of the Year for a third time (2000, 2003 and 2013).
Donovan’s back-to-back national titles marked just the seventh time in NCAA history that a program had won the national championship in consecutive years, and he joined Adolph Rupp as the only other SEC coach to win multiple titles.
With the Gators, he has posted 16 consecutive 20-win seasons, two 30-win seasons and a school record of 35 wins in 2007. He has led his teams to postseason play in 16-straight seasons, missing postseason play in his first year only (1996-97).
In all, Donovan has won 31 NCAA Tournament games, more than three times the amount of all prior UF coaches combined. With the third-most wins in SEC men’s basketball history, his winning percentage ranks seventh in SEC history and is the highest in UF history.
His many honors and accolades include: 1994 National Rookie Coach of the Year by Basketball Times; 1994 Southern Conference Coach of the Year and West Virginia College Coach of the Year; 1999 Gainesville Sun Sportperson of the Year; ESPN.com's 2001 National Coach of the Year; the United State Sports Academy National Coach of the Year in 1999; and in April 2010 he became the youngest recipient of the Wooden Award's "Legends of Coaching" honor.
Prior to Gainesville, Donovan was a standout student-athlete at Providence College, where he earned his bachelor's degree in general social studies and led the Friars to their best season in school history and a trip to the Final Four in 1987, Donovan's senior year. After spending two seasons as a reserve player, Donovan thrived under new coach Rick Pitino and became one of the premier players in Providence history. The Rockville Centre, N.Y., native averaged 15.1 points per game as a junior and 20.6 ppg. as a senior to earn All-America honorable mention. He set single-season school records as a senior with 97 3-pointers made, 237 3-pointers attempted and 1,234 minutes played. That same year, he was named the NCAA Tournament Southeast Region Most Outstanding Player and earned a spot on the Big East All-Tournament Team. In 1999, he was inducted into the Providence College Hall of Fame and named to the 10-man All-Time Providence Civic Center Team.
Donovan played professionally for one season with the New York Knicks and then spent a year with an investment banking firm on Wall Street before embarking on his coaching career.
He was an assistant with Pitino's Kentucky Wildcats for five seasons (1989-90 to 1993-94), including a Final Four run in 1993, and his first head coaching job was at Marshall University in 1994-95.