Tue, 27 Oct 2020

Bulls name Donovan head coach

Field Level Media
23 Sep 2020, 08:40 GMT+10

Billy Donovan will be the next head coach of the Chicago Bulls, the team announced Tuesday.

He replaces Jim Boylen, who was let go in August after compiling a record of 39-84 (.317) since he was named Chicago's head coach on Dec. 3, 2018.

Contract terms were not announced.

"We are very pleased to welcome Billy and his family to the Chicago Bulls. The success that he has sustained over the course of his coaching career puts him on a different level," said Arturas Karnisovas, the Bulls' executive vice president of basketball operations. "We feel his ability to help his players reach their potential, both individually and collectively, will mesh well with our roster. Whether as a player or as a coach, he has won everywhere his career has taken him, and we hope that will continue here in Chicago."

Donovan, who came in third in NBA Coach of the Year voting this season, mutually agreed to leave the Thunder earlier this month after Oklahoma City lost Game 7 of the their first-round Western Conference playoff series to the Houston Rockets, 104-102. Donovan, 55, completed the five-year deal with the Thunder that he signed in April 2015.

Once Donovan became available, he was "aggressively pursued" by Karnisovas, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported.

Under Donovan, the Thunder were 243-157 (.608) and made five consecutive trips to the playoffs. His winning percentage trails only Nick Nurse (.721), Steve Kerr (.709) and Gregg Popovich (.675) among active coaches.

In his first season in Oklahoma City, he led the Thunder to a 55-27 record and a berth in the Western Conference finals, which they lost to the Golden State Warriors in seven games.

Donovan spent the previous 19 years as the head coach at the University of Florida. His teams were 467-186 (.715), and the Gators won back-to-back national championships in 2006 and '07. The Gators also went to the Final Four in 2000, and again in 2014, and had 16 straight wins with 20 or more wins and three with 30 or more wins.

Donovan played college basketball at Providence and led the Friars to the 1987 Final Four, averaging 20.6 points per game that season as a senior.

--Field Level Media

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