Donovan tabs McCall for final assistant position

By Adam Silverstein
April 25, 2011

Florida Atlantic Owls assistant coach Matt McCall will be the third and final member of Florida Gators head coach Billy Donovan’s coaching staff, two sources close to the team confirmed to OGGOA over the weekend. As exclusively reported by OGGOA on April 3, McCall was contacted about the job in late March and has been considered Donovan’s top choice for the role for quite some time.

“Matt is someone that worked for our program for seven years, he knows the University of Florida and he knows me,” Donovan said in a school release on Monday. “I felt, in losing three assistant coaches, that it was really important to have a level of familiarity on my staff. He is a hard worker, he was a part of us winning two national championships here and he helped FAU win its league title this year. He has great ties in the state of Florida, will be a great fit to our staff and I’m thrilled to have Matt come back to the University of Florida.”

UF’s director of basketball operations from 2004-08, McCall spent seven years under Donovan also serving as a team manager, head manager and graduate assistant. Donovan, who said last month that he wanted a young assistant to fill the spot vacated when Larry Shyatt departed for the head coaching job with the Wyoming Cowboys, has always held McCall in high regard.

Back in 2008, Donovan called him “a tireless worker and a first-class person” who “knows the state of Florida,” brings “the energy and passion necessary to be successful” and is someone he views “as one of the bright young minds” in coaching.

McCall has worked at FAU since 2008 and is one of head coach Mike Jarvis’s top assistants. He is responsible for bringing in the Owls’ best player, Gainesville native Greg Gantt, who averaged a team-high 14 points per game as a sophomore.

The Ocala native and former all-area player will be returning home to North-Central Florida to fill Donovan’s third spot on the bench behind former head coaches John Pelphrey and Norm Roberts, both of whom were hired two weeks ago.

8 Comments

  1. wingtee says:

    I am concerned there is not a lot of “basketball ” pedigree here. Seems like an excellent administrator ….but????? Billy knows best though and should not be questioned. He took a team close to a final 4 who should not have been as close as he did.
    Good luck coach McCall

  2. Joe says:

    He has plenty of pedigree. He was a decent high school player and had an opportunity to play at some smaller schools. I think he was offered the opportunity to walk-on at Stetson (could be mistaken on the school). But, he chose to come to UF because he knew he wanted to get into coaching. He has been working his way up the coaching ranks since he was in college. He has basically done every job you can do in the basketball program. This guy is a basketball junkie and is the coaching equivalent of a gym-rat.

  3. Bonelldonnell says:

    If we make a big run next year, both Pelfrey and Roberts could get job offers. We need at least one assistant to stay around for a while.

  4. Gatorgrad79 says:

    Welcome back……

  5. Joe says:

    Hard to do when you lose all 3 assistants but I think Billy has actually upgraded his staff over what he had last year.

    • SC Gator says:

      I’m not sure any staffing change that includes loosing Larry Shyatt can be an improvement but I agree that Billy has done a wonderful job of not losing ground despite the major shakeups.

  6. wingtee says:

    Just asking , the article suggests that he is an administrator more than a basketball technician. Is his forte guard play? Working with
    bigs?. Just asking. I was commenting from the
    article because I have never known about him. There are a lot of program guys out
    there but when it comes to the team needing a play drawn up can he contribute?

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