By TRAVIS REED
Associated Press Writer
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Billy Donovan found the opportunity too
good to resist: a big payday, a promising team and a job close to
"My decision to come here had nothing to do with the University
of Florida. ... This is a totally different environment," Donovan
said Friday when introduced as coach of the Orlando Magic.
Donovan and the Magic agreed to terms Thursday in a whirlwind
deal that turned Florida basketball upside down. For a long time,
he was said to be leaving. But he quieted speculation two months
ago by declining a job at Kentucky.
Donovan accepted a five-year, $27.5 million contract, which pays
more than twice the annual $1.7 million he was making at Florida,
an official in the NBA told The Associated Press on condition of
anonymity because the deal hadn't been completed.
He and the school were working on an extension that would have
given him a smaller raise and could have been announced as early as
The 42-year-old coach built a budding dynasty in Gainesville,
taking the school to its first national championship in 2000 and
winning the title the last two years. He has been a head coach for
13 seasons - two at Marshall and the past 11 with the Gators.
In Orlando, Donovan will try convert that college success into a
pro championship - a notoriously difficult feat in the all-business
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)