Billy Donovan has shown great resilience, despite falling out of action as a basketball star; he has been pulling some stunts as an NBA coach. Amazingly, he is currently the head coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder of the NBA. The amiable coach has recorded great successes since the inception of his coaching career. During his nineteen-year stint with the Florida University’s basketball team, Donovan led the team to win the NCAA championships back to back. Also, he led the Gators to more tournaments than all other coaches in Florida.
Born as William John Donovan in Rockville Centre, New York; Billy was born to American parents Bill Donovan Sr. and his wife Joan Donovan on the 30th of May 1965. He started playing basketball from a very young age and was regarded as a gym rat who plays basketball at any given opportunity. He went to 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 joined Providence College through an athletic scholarship. Finishing his college career in 1987, Donovan got All-American team and All-Tournament team call-ups; as well as All-Big East first team. Afterward, he joined the NBA draft of 1987 where he was picked by the Utah Jazz as the 68th player to be chosen in the draft.
Joining the Jazz, Donovan was waived by the team prior to the 1987/88 regular season. Following the waive, the guard signed up with the Wyoming Wildcatters which competes in the Continental Basketball Association (CBA) while looking for another opportunity to feature in the NBA. He had a stint with the New York Knicks and Rapid City Thrillers until 1989 when he decided to pursue a career as a coach.
Coaching Career: Which Team is He Coaching?
Soon after he left the Rapid City Thrillers of the CBA, Donovan tried a bit of work as a stockbroker. Following his unsuccessful career at the Wall Street Investment banking firm, 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 served until 1994. During his stay there, Billy led the team to the final four in the conference in 1993.
Following his Kentucky’s success, Billy was recruited by the Marshall University to be the head coach of their basketball team that struggled with a 9 – 18 record in the 1993/94 season. Donovan’s team continued to improve; thus becoming champions at the Southern Conference North Division in 1995. He also led the team to maintain a 35 -20 record in two seasons before leaving them in 1996.
Billy joined the University of Florida in 1996 following the resignation of their head coach Lon Kruger. During his nineteen-year career at Florida, Billy Donovan led the team to win the NCAA tournaments twice in 2006 and 2007. He helped the team to win the SEC championship six times, SEC tournament championship four times and also reach the final four of the NCAA Regional Championship four times. Donovan was honored with the Amos Alonzo Stagg Coaching Award in 2006, John R. Wooden Legends of Coaching Award in 2010, and was named SEC Coach of the Year three times.
With his outstanding coaching record, Donovan was heavily recruited by many NBA teams. However, he signed up with the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2015; thus replacing their former coach Scott Brooks. The fast-rising coach has been the head coach of the Thunder till date. Although the team has not won any major trophies, Donovan has been doing his best to keep the team in a competitive position.
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 his college days; he joined the textile industry. Although he had sometimes coached his son’s youth teams at 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 named Christine Donovan. The duo met each other several years ago and in 1990; they sealed their love with a nuptial bond. Together, they have four children, three sons – Bryan Connor and William Donovan III as well as a daughter Hasbrouck Donovan.
His son William Donovan III has trailed the career path as his father, he completed his college career at Catholic University of America and University of Florida. After he went undrafted in the 2015 NBA draft, William decided to pursue a career in coaching, and in 2016; he was named the head coach for the Saint Francis High School basketball team.
Height: How Tall is Billy Donovan?
Donovan who played professionally as a point guard has a great height and 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.