Monday, March 17, 2014

Billy Donovan, The Florida Gators and the making of a basketball school

Yes football is king in the SEC. The Florida Gators were a football school and probably will be one again (hopefully soon). This past season was a train wreck for the football team. However, the University of Florida has turned into a basketball school under Coach Billy Donovan. Coach Donovan has been building his legacy at Florida since 1996.

Today's blog was going to congratulate Florida for barely holding off the Kentucky Wildcats to win the Southeastern Conference Tournament. The Gators went 18-0 in the conference and hold a 32-2 record overall.

Reason Number One

Reason number one why Donovan should be considered a coaching legend at Florida is conference success. Before Billy Donovan took over as head coach for the Gators the team had won just one SEC regular season championships and zero SEC Tournament Championships. The Gators have won six regular season championships and four SEC Tournaments in the Billy Donovan era.

                                                                  Reason Number Two

For a long time 20 win seasons in college basketball have been a measure of success. The Gators have won at least 20 games for the last 16 seasons.

                                                            Reason Number Three

The Florida Gators had never won a men's basketball championship before hiring Coach Billy Donovan now they have two. Here are highlights from the first one..

And from the second one...

Reason Four

Probably the biggest measure of success in college basketball is getting into the big dance, the NCAA Tournament. It is probably more important than a 20-win season. The Gators have gone dancing 19 times and 14 of those times have been under Billy Donovan. Florida has gone to the Sweet 16 nine times in school history. Seven of those were teams coached by Mr. Donovan. Six of seven Florida teams to reach the Elite Eight have been Coached by Billy Donovan. Florida has reached the Final Four four times, three times lead by Billy Donovan.Coach Donovan has lead the Gators to the NCAA Finals for the only three times in school history and has won the schools only two National Championships.

Case closed!

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