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There's No Place Like Home.

Hello everyone; Mark has asked me to help him with this blog and I was more than glad to accept his offer.  I'll be posting a brief bio in the Diaries section shortly, but for now, onto to the news of the day.

According to ESPN.com, all the twists and turns in the Billy Donovan saga of recent months have landed him right back where he started: as the head basketball coach of the University of Florida. I can only imagine Billy waking up in the middle of the night after a wicked nightmare and substituting the three heel clicks of the pair of ruby slippers to get out of Oz for three rings of his lawyer's telephone to get out of his days-old contract with the Magic.  Before signing that ill-fated compact with Orlando, he had been connected to head coaching vacancies in Lexington, Kentucky with the rival Wildcats, as well as the Miami Heat and Memphis Grizzlies of the NBA.  In the end, all of this will only serve to provide Florida with the confidence that their coach won't be going anywhere anytime soon.

Donovan and the Magic were in agreement on a five-year non-compete clause in the deal that would prevent him from coaching in the NBA during that period of time

While that legal provision only precludes him from jumping ship to the NBA, he also turned down one of the most prestigious positions in college basketball along the way and has seemingly realized the depth of his roots in Gainesville.  In other words, I think it's fair to say that a set of more appealing job opportunities will never present themselves to Donovan again and that time will only serve to increase the attachment that he clearly now has to the program that he's built into a national power.  Now we fans can all rest assured that our recruits will stay in tow and we could even begin to reasonably expect Billy the Kid to stay at UF until he's Bill the Old Man.  Talks of a contact extension with the University will no doubt be ongoing and I'm sure the sides will come to an agreement shortly.

[For now] Donovan will work under his previous contract, which has two years remaining. In the coming weeks, he is expected to sign a new $3.5 million-per-year deal that will run for six years, with an option for a seventh.

Not that I was ever concerned about our future prospects should Anthony Grant have taken over our beloved Gators, but it's certainly comforting to have Billy back in charge of the program.  What he's done in his eleven years at Gainesville is nothing short of amazing and I have no doubt that he will carry that success indefinitely into the foreseeable future.