It’s official: Oklahoma City Thunder sign Billy Donovan as new head coach
OKLAHOMA CITY – It seems the Oklahoma City Thunder has a new coach.
On Thursday, the Oklahoma City Thunder named University of Florida head coach Billy Donovan as the new head coach.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but reports say the five-year deal is worth approximately $30 million.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski, the Oklahoma City Thunder is signing Donovan to a five-year contract with the team.
Donovan has spent the last 19 years as the Gators’ head coach, leading the program to back to back national titles in 2006 and 2007.
He’s been wildly successful at the NCAA level. He’s appeared in four Final Four’s, won 72 percent of his games and won six SEC titles with the Gators.
Donovan has been considered the front-runner ever since Scott Brooks was fired last week. This is Donovan’s second crack at becoming an NBA head coach.
In 2007, he agreed to become the head coach of the Orlando Magic, but backed out at the last-minute to return to Florida.
He never coached a game with the franchise.
However, Donovan has been coveted by the NBA numerous times. He turned down jobs in Cleveland and Minnesota last year.
Other reports state that after reaching out, Kevin Durant has had a positive reception about the hire.
“We are thrilled to welcome Billy and his family to the Oklahoma City Thunder organization. When we began the process of identifying the next head coach of the Thunder, we started with a vision and the identifiable qualities that we felt were necessary for our organization as well as the ever evolving role of the head coach in today’s NBA. We wanted to identify a person with the traits associated with high achieving leaders in their respective fields; a continuous learning mentality, the ability to adapt, evolve and innovate, intrinsically motivated, humility, and great tactical competence,” Thunder GM Sam Presti said. “While we created a comprehensive analysis regarding the qualities we were looking for, it became quite evident that Billy was the ideal fit for the Thunder as we look to transition our team into the future. Billy has achieved an incredible level of success and experience within his 21 years as a head coach and has shown the unique ability to not only create but sustain an elite program. His emotional intelligence, commitment to the concept of team, and relentless approach to incremental improvement have allowed him to bring his players together and establish lasting relationships through competitive success. Billy’s core values and alignment with our culture and community, as well as his proven tactical abilities, make him an ideal addition to the Thunder organization.”