UPDATE: The University of Florida Athletic Association has confirmed that Billy Donovan is stepping down from his role as head coach of the Gator basketball team to pursue the same position with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
“While we are certainly extremely sad to see Billy go, the primary feeling I have is one of gratitude for what he has done here at Florida,” UAA athletic director Jeremy Foley said in a release on Thursday afternoon.
“Billy and Florida basketball have been synonymous for a long time now, and our program would not have reached the heights it has without him. The legacy he leaves here is one of personal and professional excellence and we wish him, Christine and the Donovan family continued success and happiness as they make this move,” Foley said. “There is no better person than Billy Donovan. He will truly be missed.”
Original post: GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — A person familiar with the situation says Florida coach Billy Donovan has agreed to become the Oklahoma City Thunder’s next coach.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Thursday because neither side has announced the agreement.
The person says Donovan and Thunder general manager Sam Presti agreed to the major points of a long-term contract and expect it to be finalized later Thursday.
Donovan replaces Scott Brooks, who was fired last week.
The 49-year-old Donovan led Florida to two national championships, four Final Fours, seven Elite Eights and 14 NCAA Tournament berths. He signed a one-year contract extension in December that would have paid him an average salary of $4 million through 2020.
Donovan inherits an NBA team led by stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.
The University of Florida’s official release announcing Donovan’s departure: