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Flip, flop - Billy Donovan has finally stopped
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Last week, Billy Donovan made a huge mistake in leaving the University of Florida for what he thought was greener pastures.

On May 31, the Orlando Magic made Donovan its eighth head coach in franchise history; however, on June 4 Donovan called the Magic organization and said he could not coach the team after all. Donovan was quoted on - the official Web site of Florida basketball - "In my heart, I belong in college basketball."

There is no denying that Donovan is a proven winner. He has a 261-103 record (.717). Just look at what this man has done in his career as a college basketball player and coach:

Donovan played guard for Providence from 1983-87. In 1985, a young head coach named Rick Pitino came to Providence. During the '86 season, Donovan - a fifth-year senior - averaged 20.6 points and shot .406 from 3-point range (97-for-237), helping the Friars to its only Final Four appearance.

Donovan was an assistant under Pitino at Kentucky from 1989-94, and helped the Wildcats reach the NCAA Final Four in '93.

Accepting his first head coaching job at Marshall in '94, Donovan took the Thundering Herd - who went 9-18 the season before - to an 18-9 overall record. As a result, they clinched a North Division title in the Southern Conference.

Donovan has spent 11 seasons as the head basketball coach at Florida. He led the Gators to nine straight 20-game seasons, nine consecutive NCAA tournaments berths, three trips to the national championship game and has won back-to-back national titles in 2006 and 2007. Plus, Donovan became one of only three people to play in the NCAA Final Four and win a national championship as a head coach. (Dean Smith and Bobby Knight are the only two others.)

With all of his success coming at the collegiate level, Donovan probably became very familiar with all of the pressures and stresses that come from being a NBA coach.

I don't blame Donovan for re-hashing the whole ordeal of his half-hearted decisions to gain a much clearer perspective. He understands that the Orlando Magic want success, and the Magic believed it had hired someone with the expertise who could take its team to the next level.

Donovan belongs in college basketball. I know, without a doubt, that his ego was the sole proprietor in making such an irrational and irresponsible decision. For a brief moment of his insanity, Donovan forgot about the things that made him the successful coach he is today. He forgot about the people who helped him become a good man - a leader. He forgot about the loyalty that he has invested in the basketball program at Florida.

Go back to the University of Florida, Donovan, if the school will have you. College basketball is your calling. Take this experience and use it to help a young man or woman in the same predicament as you were once in. You are a great coach, but you truly belong in Gainesville.

Hopefully, Coach Donovan will soon be back in Gator Nation working his own "magic" that has made him the coach he is today.

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