A weekend after leaving the University of Florida to head the NBA and coach the Orlando Magic, Bill Donovan is headed back to the Gators. Donovan stated in his press conference that he has always been intrigued with the NBA and the "easy" thing to do would be to stay at Florida. Apparently, he was not as intrigued as he thought.
Florida Athletic Director Jeremy Foley was on his way to interview Anthony Grant, head coach of Virgina Commonwealth University, for the recently vacant head coaching position when he received a call from Donovan. After getting off the plane in Virgina he checked his voicemail and Donovan had left a message telling Foley not to do anything without talking to him first. Foley contacted Donovan and got back onto the plane and headed back to Gainesville.
The Florida Sentinel broke the story this morning that Donovan had contacted the Magic telling them that he was unsure of taking the job and wanted to go back to Florida. The Magic sent officials over to Donovan's home and they were surprised to be met by Donovan's assistant head coach at the door and told he was not going to talk to anyone right now. At first it looked as if the Magic may try to hold Donovan to his contract, but now it seems he will be let go from it and allowed to go back to the University Florida.
Donovan surprised many people by taking the Orlando job since he was in contract negotiations with Florida and had turned down multiple previous offers to coach at other places. Donovan had said that he was happy at Florida and wanted to stay at Florida and continue what he started so when the announcement came out that he had been talking with Orlando and in fact took the job shocked many. As shocked as people were by his leaving UF, this announcement is even more of a shock. To my knowledge no one has taken a job in the pros and than a couple days later said no thanks.
I think Donovan is making the right choice by staying at Florida because he is not a pro coach in my opinion. Donovan is a disciplinarian and known as a tough coach, which is the same style as Brian Hill who had recently been fired. I do believe that Donovan has ruined his reputation with the pro level by what he is doing now and may not get another chance in the NBA for a while, if ever. Donovan is a great college coach and I believe that he should stay there and for him I am glad he changed his mind. I am not sure why he had a change of heart, but I am sure many people will offer their opinion. If I had to offer my opinion, i would say that he never thought his decision through with himself or his family. Donovan is a family man and when he had time to sit back and think, I believe he realized the big mistake he was doing. Donovan will be the brunt of some media jokes and may have ruined his reputation with the NBA, but he is still a great coach and a better man. Welcome Back Billy, even if you were only gone a day.