Billy Donovan says goodbye, thanks Florida Gators fans in heartfelt newspaper ad

By Adam Silverstein
May 24, 2015

Former Florida Gators head basketball coach Billy Donovan has not spoken much since leaving the program for the NBA‘s Oklahoma City Thunder, but on Sunday, Donovan and the rest of his family thanked the program he called home for 19 seasons with a full-page advertisement in The Gainesville Sun.



(Click to expand. Courtesy of The Gainesville Sun.)

Here’s the transcription:

“GOODBYE” IS SO DIFFICULT, especially after having spent two decades in this community (And as you’ve seen before, leaving you all has never been easy for us!)

The University of Florida and Gainesville embraced us from the day we arrived so long ago, and we have grown to love not only this local community that has so loved us, but all of Gator Nation – from Crescent Beach to Cedar Key, from Miami to New York, from Jacksonville to San Francisco, to all over the nation and globe.

We are so grateful to Jeremy Foley, staff and leaders at the University of Florida, along with scores of players and coaches who have become part of our family. And, of course, the Rowdy Reptiles.

We leave with hearts full of love and cherished memories of euphoria and heartbreak – on and off the court – shared at every step with our Gator family.

We are excited for all that Mike White brings as he puts his own unique mark on Florida basketball…Fannnntastic!

AND SO RATHER THAN “GOODBYE,” …UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN MAY GOD HOLD YOU IN THE PALM OF HIS HAND

– BILLY AND CHRISTINE DONOVAN

7 Comments

  1. Dave K says:

    Thanks, Coach Donovan, for the wonderful ride! Your professionalism and coaching skills are easily in the top tier of the select few coaches who have dominated college basketball over the last 50 years…now go do the same in the pro’s! You’ve earned and deserve this opportunity. Go Gators! Go Thunder!

  2. Ken (CA) says:

    Nothing But Class. He will be sorely missed.

  3. SW Fl Joe says:

    Win or lose, Billy has always been a class act and has represented UF proudly

  4. Basshole says:

    Good luck, Billy. Thanks for all the great teams over the years and thank you for the difference you made in so many young men’s lives.

  5. papadoc says:

    As a devoted Vandy fan, I must also thank Billy Donovan for always exemplifying real Class!

  6. Michael Jones says:

    Classy. As always. Agree with SW Fl Joe.

  7. Thank you Billy for the years of enjoyment as a Gator Fan. We will miss you; but now we have an NBA team to cheer for as you grow into your new position. Maybe we will see you in the stands this weekend as the Gator Girls are on their way to O K City.

    Good luck.

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