A Florida Gators legend will be back in Gainesville in February to accept a special tribute.
Former UF men's basketball coach Billy Donovan will be honored on Feb. 15 during Florida's matchup with Vanderbilt as "Billy Donovan Court" will be unveiled on the O'Connell Center floor.
"What Billy accomplished here no one ever could have anticipated,” former athletic director Jeremy Foley said in a release. “He came in here and built a program that is recognized as a national brand."
Donovan spent 19 seasons as the head coach of the men's basketball program, compiling a 467-186 record in that span.
Before Donovan took over in 1996, the Gators had been to the NCAA Tournament just five times and had only a single Final Four appearance in the program’s history. Donovan led UF to 14 NCAA Tournament appearances, four Final Fours and helped the program earn its first and only national championship titles in 2006 and 2007.
Other universities like Duke (Coach K Court), Syracuse (Jim Boeheim Court) and Tennessee (Pat Summitt Court) have recognized coaches who have led their programs to prominence. Now, the winningest coach in Florida basketball history will have his name etched permanently on the floor he coached his team to countless victories on.
"I was totally shocked,” Donovan said in a release. "It was really emotional. I didn’t anticipate this. I’m thankful, I’m honored and just incredibly humbled by it all.”
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