Saturday, June 2, 2007
The terms of the deal call for Donovan to receive $27.5 million over five years, or approximately $5.5 million per year guaranteed over the life of the contract. On May 17, Donovan had received an offer from Florida for a seven-year contract extension, which he never signed. Although its terms were never officially disclosed, sources say that the salary ranged from $3 million to $3.75 million per year guaranteed.
Donovan announced his acceptance of the Magic coaching job at a news conference in Orlando, Florida, at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, June 1. At another news conference at 4:00 p.m. the same day in Gainesville, he will officially announce his resignation as the head coach of the Florida Gators.
Donovan, who won two NCAA titles and three SEC titles in his eleven-year tenure with the Gators, has a career head-coaching record of 296-123: 261-103 with the Gators, and 35-20 in two seasons at the helm with Marshall.
In addition to turning down the Gators’ contract extension, Donovan earlier was mentioned as a possible candidate with the Kentucky Wildcats, where he was previously an assistant, to replace Tubby Smith as their head coach. He was also mentioned as a possible candidate for the head coach job at the Memphis Grizzlies, replacing Mike Fratello.
The previous head coach of the Magic, Brian Hill, was relieved of his duties on May 23 after barely making the playoffs with a 40-42 season record, and being swept in the first round by the Detroit Pistons. Hill, who has a record of 267-192 overall with the Magic (191-104 in his first stint, 1993-1997), was 36-46 in the 2005-06 season, his first season back, punctuated by a 16-6 finish that inflated hopes for this past season. Hill reportedly will be offered another job within the Magic organization.
Some experts speculate that the signing of Donovan will boost efforts to build a new arena for the Magic.
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