Oklahoma City Thunder Will Likely Sign Billy Donovan As Head Coach
After plenty of rumors and speculation, Billy Donovan will replace Scott Brooks as the Oklahoma City Thunder head coach. However, an official announcement will likely be made over the next few days, with ESPN claiming the confirmation could come tomorrow or Friday.
Though it was never confirmed, many believed that the position was Donovan’s to lose, with him being GM Sam Presti’s number one choice. The GM has made a few trips to Gainesville to scout and talk to the coach. Both supposedly share a similar work ethic and philosophy — advanced metrics — on basketball, according to ESPN.
On top of this, the Oklahoma City franchise has previously hired two former Donovan staffers: Mark Daigneault to coach the organization’s D-League team and Oliver Winterbone as an analyst. So needless to say, the Thunder has always been leaning towards this decision, if they care to admit it or not.
Donovan has been coaching division one basketball since 1994-95, where he originally started out with Marshall. After posting back-to-back winning seasons, he decided to move onto Florida, which is where he has been for the last 19 seasons. In that time span, he has a record of 467-186, won two back-to-back national championships and has only had three losing seasons — 2014-15 was his first one since 1997-98.
In recent years, Donovan’s name has been a constant when talking about vacant NBA head coaching positions. Last offseason, he was rumored as a candidate for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Minnesota Timberwolves jobs, but he chose to stay with the Gators. However, now he takes on a team that should be an automatic playoff contender — barring anymore unforeseen injuries — with two bonafide superstars in Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant.