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Foley Speaks On Donovan

Courtesy of

"We certainly wish this run could have gone on forever. It's been an incredible privilege to be a part of," Foley said in a written statement. "We're indebted to Billy Donovan. ... We'll miss him as a coach, but we'll always be friends and remain close to Billy and his family. We know he has a lot more success in his future, and we wish him the best in his new journey."
One thing that we were left out in the cold on was what exactly was going on with the contract negotiations with the University of Florida, and how it came to be that the Magic got a better offer on the table.  Foley explains this (courtesy of the Orlando Sentinel):
UF Athletic Director Jeremy Foley told the Sentinel on Thursday that "our contract [with Donovan] was a done deal. We just had to go through some administrative channels before we could announce it.

"We were going to announce it next week. But this Magic offer came along this week, and Billy was intrigued. Believe me, our contract situation had nothing to do with Billy's decision. He's taking this job because the time is right for him."

Foley said he felt the Magic also had perfect timing. Four of Donovan's Gators starters had declared for the upcoming NBA draft.

"If this had been three years ago, he doesn't take the job," Foley said. "The Magic hit him at the perfect time. I think he felt that if he were ever going to do it, now was the time.

"Billy never made a secret that the NBA has always intrigued him. The fact that this NBA job is in Florida and that he thinks he can win in Orlando were big factors. I also think the college lifestyle and the recruiting had begun to wear on him."

Based on that, it's tough to blame anybody in the athletic department or administration for Billy's departure.  The Orlando job was really the perfect situation, and there was no way to compete with the attractiveness of it.

Also from this article comes this note on the new head coaching search:

It appears Foley will not get a chance to consider assistant Larry Shyatt. ESPN and Fox Sports reported Thursday that Shyatt would join Donovan in Orlando. Other possible candidates to replace Donovan include Marquette's Tom Crean and Villanova's Jay Wright.