|Donovan leaves champion Gators for shot at NBA|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 01 June 2007 05:46|
``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 next week.
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 NBA.