Feb. 28, 2007
Billy Donovan is coming back to Marshall University's Henderson Center, not to coach, but to speak on April 4 at the 29th Annual Big Green Scholarship Foundation Dinner presented by Pepsi.
Donovan, who coached the Thundering Herd for two seasons (1994-95, 1995-96), directed the Florida Gators to the NCAA National Championship last March and compiled a 33-6 record along the way.
"We really appreciate Billy coming back to help us raise funds for our student-athletes," said Marshall University Athletic Director Bob Marcum. "For all he has achieved at Florida, it's a tribute to the Thundering Herd and all our fans that he will be the featured speaker for the Big Green."
In two seasons at Marshall, he coached the Herd to 18-9 and 17-11 records. His 1994-95 squad won the Southern Conference Northern Division. Donovan was also named Southern Conference and West Virginia College Coach of the Year in 1994.
His record at Florida has been phenomenal. In his first 10 years as head coach, the Gators have won 226 games with only 98 losses, making eight straight NCAA tournament appearances--two in the Final Four, topped by last season's national championship.
As a college player at Providence, he was twice all-Big East in 1986-87, and was inducted into the Providence Hall of Fame in 1999.
After a year with the New York Knicks in the NBA, he joined Rick Pitino's coaching staff at Kentucky before taking the Marshall head coaching job.
This year's edition of the Florida Gators has already achieved the 20-win mark and has been a fixture in the national polls since the preseason. UF is certain to be selected by the NCAA for a run at defending their national title. This season also marks the ninth straight year that Donovan's teams have won 20 or more games.
Corporate tables that seat eight persons for the Big Green Banquet are available for $2,000 and include special gifts and a private reception with Coach Donovan, while individual tickets are $100 per person. All proceeds from the banquet go to support athletic scholarships at Marshall University.
"Donovan's acceptance," said Big Green president Tom Miller, "continues our reputation of securing well-recognized speakers for our most significant fund raising event. I'm sure all of our fans who cheered for Billy's teams when he was our coach will be interested in attending the banquet."
For more information call the Big Green Office at 866-443-7310.