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William John Donovan Jr. (born May 30, 1965) is an American professional basketball coach and former player and current head coach of the Chicago Bulls of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He previously spent 19 seasons at the University of Florida, where his Florida Gators teams won back-to-back NCAA championships in 2006 and 2007. Donovan has more wins than any other coach in the history of the Florida basketball program, and he coached the Gators to more NCAA tournament appearances, NCAA tournament wins, and Southeastern Conference (SEC) championships than all other Florida coaches combined.
Donovan was born and raised in Rockville Centre on Long Island, New York. As the starting point guard for Rick Pitino's Providence team, Donovan led the Friars to the 1987 Final Four. As such, he is one of only four men (Dean Smith, Joe B. Hall and Bobby Knight being the others) to appear in the NCAA Final Four as a player and win the NCAA national championship as a coach.
After college, Donovan spent the 1987–88 and 1988–89 basketball seasons split between the developmental Continental Basketball Association and the NBA's New York Knicks, who were led by his college coach, Rick Pitino. Donovan left professional basketball in 1989, and briefly worked as a Wall Street stock broker before following Pitino to his new job at the University of Kentucky. Donovan served as an assistant coach for the Kentucky Wildcats men's basketball from 1989 to 1993 under Pitino, working his way from serving as a graduate assistant to Pitino's top assistant. He accepted his first head coaching position at Marshall University in 1994 and led the Thundering Herd to a 35–20 record over two seasons.
Donovan was hired to revive Florida's basketball program in 1996. After two losing seasons while he rebuilt the roster through relentless recruiting, Donovan's Gators began a streak of sixteen straight 20-win seasons, a period which included multiple conference championships, four Final Four appearances, two NCAA championships, and three SEC coach of the year awards.
During Donovan's tenure at Florida, he was often rumored to be a candidate for various NCAA and NBA head coaching positions. In June 2007, after leading the Gators to their second consecutive national title, he accepted an offer to become the head coach of the NBA's Orlando Magic. However, he immediately had second thoughts, and after a week, he persuaded the Magic to release him from his newly signed contract and allow him to return to Florida, where he remained for eight more seasons.
In April 2015, Donovan agreed to become the head coach of the NBA's Oklahoma City Thunder. In his first season with the team, Donovan led the Thunder to a first-place finish in their division and a trip to the conference finals, where they lost to the Golden State Warriors in 7 games after building a 3–1 series lead. In subsequent seasons, the Thunder have finished with winning records and reached the NBA playoffs every year under Donovan but have not progressed past the first round.
After the Thunder lost to the Houston Rockets in seven games in the first round of the 2020 NBA playoffs, on September 8, 2020, it was announced that Donovan would not be returning to the team as the two sides failed to agree on a contract extension. Over his five seasons in Oklahoma City, Donovan went 243–157 while making the postseason each year, advancing past the first round just once.
Following the 2019–20 season, Donovan's contract was not renewed, and both sides agreed to mutually part ways.
On September 22, 2020, Donovan agreed to a deal to become the next head coach of the Chicago Bulls.