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Billy Donovan out as Thunder coach after five seasons

Former Gator head coach was an NBA Coach of the Year finalist this season
Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Billy Donovan in the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018, in Denver. The Nuggets won 127-124. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Billy Donovan in the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018, in Denver. The Nuggets won 127-124. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)(David Zalubowski | AP)
Published: Sep. 8, 2020 at 10:11 PM EDT
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OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (AP) -Billy Donovan won’t return as coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder after five seasons, the team announced Tuesday night.

Donovan, who was at the end of his contract, took the Thunder to the playoffs every year and was a finalist for Coach of the Year this season after his squad outperformed expectations and pushed the Houston Rockets to seven games in the first round of the playoffs.

Donovan went 243-157 with Oklahoma City. Before that, he led the University of Florida to two national championships and four Final Four appearances in 19 seasons.

The team and Donovan described his departure as a mutual decision. Thunder general manager Sam Presti said he couldn’t give Donovan the assurances he wanted about the future.

“It became apparent that we couldn’t provide him the information on the future direction of the team over the next several seasons to give him the level of clarity that he understandably desires at this stage of his career,” Presti said.

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