Billy Donovan has shown great resilience even though he failed as a basketball star; as an NBA coach, he has performed some stunts. Amazingly, he is currently the head coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder of the NBA. The likable coach has had great success since the beginning of his coaching career. During his nineteen years on the University of Florida basketball team, Donovan led the team to win the NCAA championships back-to-back. He also led the Gators to more tournaments than any other coach in Florida.
Born as William John Donovan at Rockville Center, New York; Billy was born on May 30, 1965, to American parents Bill Donovan Sr. and his wife Joan Donovan. He began playing basketball at a very young age and was considered a gymnastics rat who played basketball at every opportunity. He attended St. Agnes Cathedral High School where he led the school team to win the Long Island Catholic High School Championship as a senior.
For his youth career, Donovan came to Providence College on a sports scholarship. After completing his college career in 1987, Donovan was called up to the All-American team and the All-Tournament team as well as the first All-Big East team. He then joined the 1987 NBA draft where he was named 68th in the Utah Jazz.
Before the regular season of 1987/88, Donovan was banned from the jazz team. After the disqualification, the guard signed up with the Wyoming Wildcatters, who play in the Continental Basketball Association (CBA), while looking for another opportunity to play in the NBA. He was with the New York Knicks and the Rapid City Thrillers until 1989 when he decided to pursue a career as a coach.
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Coaching Career: Which Team is He Coaching?
Shortly after he left the Rapid City Thrillers of the CBA, Donovan tried his hand at being a stockbroker. After his unsuccessful career with the investment banking firm Wall Street, he ventured into basketball coaching. He began his coaching career as an assistant college basketball coach. He joined his former high school coach Rick Pitino at the University of Kentucky, where he worked until 1994. While there, Billy led the team into the top four in the 1993 conference.
After his success in Kentucky, Billy was recruited by Marshall University as head coach of their basketball team, which fought a record 9 to 18 years in the 1993/94 season. Donovan’s team continued to improve and in 1995 they became champions in the Southern Conference North Division. He also led the team to hold a record of 35-20 in two seasons before leaving in 1996.
Billy joined the University of Florida in 1996 after the resignation of their head coach Lon Kruger. During his nineteen-year career in Florida, Billy Donovan led the team, winning the NCAA tournaments twice in 2006 and 2007, helping the team win the SEC championship six times, the SEC tournament championship four times, and the NCAA regional championship four times. Donovan was honored with the Amos Alonzo Stagg Coaching Award in 2006, the John R. Wooden Legends of Coaching Award in 2010, and was named SEC Coach of the Year three times.
With his outstanding coaching career, Donovan has been recruited by many NBA teams. In 2015, however, he enrolled with Oklahoma City Thunder, replacing their former coach Scott Brooks. The fast-rising coach was the Thunder’s head coach to this day. Although the team has not won any major trophies, Donovan has done his best to keep the team in a competitive position.
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Donovan’s Family: Wife and Son
Billy Donovan came from an athletic family, his father played college basketball for the Boston College Eagles basketball team and after college, he entered the textile industry. Although he sometimes coached his son’s youth teams on the team. Billy has two sisters, Karen Reilly and Susan Donovan.
While he has become a successful basketball coach, Billy Donovan is also successful as a family man. He is married to his high school sweetheart Christine Donovan. The duo met a few years ago and in 1990; they sealed their love with a marriage bond. Together they have four children, three sons – Bryan Connor and William Donovan III, and a daughter Hasbrouck Donovan.
His son, William Donovan III, followed in his father’s footsteps, completing his college career at the Catholic University of America and the University of Florida. After not being drafted in the 2015 NBA draft, William decided to pursue a career as a coach. In 2016, he was named head coach of the Saint Francis High School basketball team.
Height: How Tall is Billy Donovan?
Donovan, who played professionally as a point guard, is very tall and has a wonderful physique. He stands at a height of 5 feet 11 inches and weighs 78 kg (171 lbs). The NBA coach also has dark brown hair and brown eyes.