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Thursday, May 31, 2007

NBA Official: Donovan leaving Florida to coach Orlando Magic

ORLANDO (AP) -- After leading Florida to two national titles, Billy Donovan has agreed to leave the Gators to coach the Orlando Magic, an official in the NBA told The Associated Press on Thursday.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal hasn't been finalized, said Donovan agreed to a five-year, $27.5 million contract.
Donovan, who turned down an offer in April to coach Kentucky, replaces Brian Hill, who was fired after two consecutive losing seasons.
Donovan, his agent and Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley didn't return phone messages left by The AP. School president Bernie Machen, who was attending a meeting of Southeastern Conference officials, declined comment.
Speculation that Donovan would leave Gainesville seemed to end after he turned down Kentucky and said, "I love the University of Florida." He was also linked to the Memphis Grizzlies' job, but never had formal talks with them and repeatedly refused to comment about any open coaching positions.
He said he intended to sign an extension at Florida, where he was making $1.7 million annually.

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