On June 24, 2014, University of Florida head coach Billy Donovan led the 2014 USA Men's U18 National Team to a 5-0 record and a gold medal at the 2014 FIBA Americas U18 Championship, improving his USA head coaching record to 19-0. The first place finish qualified the USA for the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship.
In his first two assignments as a U.S. head coach, Donovan also 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 Menís U19 World Championship Team training camp.
ďIím just honored,Ē said Donovan after the USA team captured its third-straight gold in the 2014 FIBA Americas U18 Championship. ďI think that as a coach in this kind of event, youíre only as good as your players. Iíve been very fortunate that in the past three years, Iíve coached some great guys, great kids and have had some great coaches working with me. These guys were unbelievable to deal with. The bought in, they listened and theyíre the ones who really played well. Iím just happy I could be a part of it and be taken along for the ride.Ē
Having recently completed 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 486-189 (.720 winning percentage) and a record of 451-169 (.727 winning percentage) at Florida (as of April 15, 2014).
In 2013-14, he led his Gators to a 36-3 overall record, an 18-0 Southeastern Conference record, an SEC reguar season title, an SEC Tournament title, and a No. 1 overall seed in the 2014 NCAA Menís Basketball Tournament. The Gators advanced to the Final Four for the fourth time under Donovan after making it to the Elight Eight during the three previous years.
Donovan was named the SEC Coach of the Year for a third time (2011, 2013 and 2014), joining Don DeVoe, C.M. Newton and Adolph Rupp as the only coaches to win SEC Coach of the Year in consecutive seasons. He was also named the 2014 District IV Coach of the Year by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association.
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 14 NCAA
Tournaments. Additionally, he has won six Southeastern Conference regular season championships (2000, 2001, 2007,2011, 2013 and 2014) and four SEC Tournament championships (2005, 2006, 2007 and 2014). In the past nine seasons, he has led Florida to six Elite Eight appearances, and three Final Four apperances.
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 NABC District VI Coach of the Year for a third time (2000, 2003 and 2013).
Donovanís 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, three 30-win seasons and a school record of 36 wins in 2014. He has led his teams to postseason play in 17-straight seasons, missing postseason play in his first year only (1996-97).
In all, Donovan has won 35 NCAA Tournament games, more than three times the amount of all prior UF coaches combined. With the third-most wins in SEC menís 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.
Inheriting a Thundering Herd squad that had won nine games the previous season, Donovan led his team to an 18-9 record and the 1995 Southern Conference regular season championship, followed in 1995-96 by a 17-11 mark.
|USA Basketball Coaching History|
|2014 FIBA Americas U18 Championship||Head Coach||5-0||1.000||Gold Medal|
|2013 FIBA U19 World Championship||Head Coach||9-0||1.000||Gold Medal|
|2012 FIBA Americas U18 Championship||Head Coach||5-0||1.000||Gold Medal|
|Totals||19-0||1.000||3 Gold Medals|