There were rumors abound that Florida Gators head basketball coach Billy Donovan was considering a return to the NBA, but according to SI.com, Donovan reportedly signed a 3-year extension to remain in Gainesville last month.
This would be huge news for the #1 ranked Gators, who are in this year’s Sweet 16 and are about to embark on their quest for a third national championship in the last decade.
From the SI.com report, Donovan agreed to terms of the contract last summer, but the extension–that paid him a $250k longevity bonus before March 1–wasn’t finalized and in effect until February. The contract will increase his base salary nearly $100,000 a season, raising his pay to $3.9 million this season and $3.68 million in each of the next five years.
Donovan’s flirtation with the NBA may have been a big reason the University turned aggressive, giving Donovan such a big increase over a long period of time – that, and the fact that he’s a darn good coach.
The 49-year old Donovan has been at Florida for 18 seasons, and trails only Adolph Rupp in SEC career coaching victories. His 33 career NCAA tournament wins are the most in SEC history.