Entries in Florida Gators (73)


Mike White Era Begins in Florida

Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images(GAINESVILLE, Fla.) -- Florida introduced new head men's basketball coach Mike White on Monday.

White takes over for Billy Donovan, who is now the new coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

"It’s an absolute honor of mine to replace Billy Donovan, one of the best coaches in the history of this game," White said. "I have tremendous respect and admiration for the legacy that he leaves, and it’s my charge to continue the momentum that he’s maintained for an amazing 19 years."

During Donovan's 19 years in Florida he led the team to two nationals titles, four Final Four appearances, and 14 NCAA Tournament berths.

"We’re going to play hard," White added. "We’re going to play fast to a certain extent. We’ve got to figure out what’s in this roster’s best interest. Off the floor, we’ve got to do the things we’re supposed to do. We’re going to act like men and represent this athletic department as well."

White was previously a head coach at Louisiana Tech, where he led the team to a 27-9 record and an appearance in the N.I.T. quarter-finals.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Florida Signs Mike White as New Men's Basketball Coach

Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images(GAINESVILLE, Fla.) -- The Florida Gators have signed Mike White to a six-year contract Thursday to be the new head basketball coach.

White takes over for school legend Billy Donovan, who left to coach the Oklahoma City Thunder. Donovan led the Gators to two national championships during his tenure in Gainesville.

"I have an incredible amount of respect for the University of Florida, and I am so excited to be a Gator," White said in a statement. "Not only is Florida home for me, but the tradition and success that the Gators have built make this an incredible opportunity."

The 38-year-old White, who will earn an average of $2 million per season, spent the last four seasons coaching Louisiana Tech. During that time he compiled a 101-40 record and led the school to the NIT the last three seasons.

Before joining Louisiana Tech, White spent eight seasons as an assistant coach at his alma mater Ole Miss, where he once was a starting point guard.

White takes over a Gators squad that last season finished with a 16-17 record.

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Sources: Billy Donovan Eyes Jump To NBA

Mitchell Layton/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Sources told that Billy Donovan is poised to draw interest from multiple NBA teams this offseason and is prepared to listen to those pitches after the Gators went 16-17 last season in which they failed to qualify for postseason play for just the second time in Donovan's nearly two decades in Gainesville.

Donovan recently agreed to a one-year contract extension to stay with the Gators through the 2020 season, according to multiple media reports, but the contract contains a buyout for a mere $500,000 if an NBA opportunity arises. 

The extension is not regarded as an impediment to Donovan's pursuit of NBA jobs if he wishes.

And the growing feeling in NBA circles is that Donovan -- who rejected serious overtures in the 2014 offseason from the Minnesota Timberwolves and Cleveland Cavaliers -- is prepared to make the move this offseason if the "right" opportunity arises.

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Florida Reinstates F Dorian Finney-Smith

Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images(GAINESVILLE, Fla.) -- Florida Gators head coach Billy Donovan reinstated junior forward Dorian Finney-Smith on Friday.

Finney-Smith was suspended for the past three games due to an unspecified violation of team rules.

"He served his penalty," Donovan said. "He did all the things we asked him to do and expected him to do."

The 6-foot-8 Finney-Smith is the team's leading rebounder (5.8 per game) and second-leading scorer (12.9 per game).

Finney-Smith will be on the floor for the Gators (13-15, 6-9 Southeastern Conference) Saturday when Donovan tries to win his 500th career game versus Tennessee.

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Top-Ranked Undefeated Kentucky Tops Florida, 68-61

iStock/Thinkstock(GAINESVILLE, Fla.) -- Wildcats sophomore guard Aaron Harrison scored 23 points as (1) Kentucky (23-0; 10-0 SEC) defeated Florida (12-11; 5-5 SEC) Saturday night, 68-61.

Freshman forward Karl-Anthony Towns contributed 19 points and eight rebounds for Kentucky, while junior forward Willie Cauley-Stein had 13 points and five rebounds.

With the game tied at 44-44 with 12:09 left in the second half, the Wildcats took the lead for good when Gators freshman forward Devin Robinson turned the ball over enabling Cauley-Stein to score on a slam dunk.

Florida had four players score in double-figures led by junior forward Dorian Finney-Smith with 16 points.

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Auburn Gets No. 1 Recruit D.E. Byron Cowart

Football Texture/iStockphoto(NEW YORK) -- The No. 1 player in the country is headed to Auburn.  Defensive end Byron Cowart chose the Tigers over the Florida Gators on Wednesday during National Signing Day.

Cowart had 11 sacks and 21 tackles for a loss in his senior year and will help a Auburn defense that finished 92nd in the FBS this year.

The 6-foot-4, 258-pound Cowart also carries around a Chucky doll from the horror movie series that reportedly reminds him to be fierce on the field.

"Cowart is an athletic, physical and -- at times -- very explosive defender who should enhance his stock depending on physical development and improved awareness skills," his scouting report reads. "A player with a lot of physical tools to develop. Could be a defensive tackle candidate as well."

It's Auburn's first top recruit since ESPN began keeping player ratings in 2006.

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Report: Driskel to Transfer to Louisiana Tech

Sam Greenwood/Getty Images(GAINESVILLE, Fla.) -- Ex-Gators quarterback Jeff Driskel will transfer from the University of Florida to Louisiana Tech, according to

The University of Florida granted Driskel's release from scholarship after head coach Will Muschamp was fired and replaced by Jim McElwain.

Driskel will be eligible to play next season with the Bulldogs as he has already graduated from the University of Florida.

In 2011, Driskel was the No. 1 quarterback recruit and signed with Florida. He took over as the starter in 2012 and led the team to an 11-2 season. The Gators lost the Sugar Bowl to the Teddy Bridgewater-led Louisville Cardinals 33-23.

Freshman Treon Harris took the starting job from Driskel this past season as the former No. 1 recruit struggled to complete 53.8 percent of his passes for 1,140 yards nine touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

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Muschamp Rejoins Auburn as Defensive Coordinator

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Will Muschamp didn't have to wait too long to find employment. The former Florida football coach has reached a deal to become the new defensive coordinator at Auburn, the school announced late Friday night.

The three-year deal is reportedly worth between $1.6 million and $1.8 million annually, making Muschamp the highest-paid defensive coordinator in major college football.

"My family, Carol, Jackson, Whit, and I are excited about coming back to Auburn and I look forward to working with Coach Malzahn to win championships," Muschamp said in the statement.

Muschamp, who was 28-21 in four seasons with the Gators, will be making his third stint with the Tigers. He was the defensive coordinator in 2006 and 2007 for Tommy Tuberville and was also a graduate assistant in 1995 and '96. 

Despite a disappointing end to his tenure at Florida, Muschamp was named the SEC Coach of the Year in 2012 after leading the Gators to an 11-2 record. During his time, the Florida defense was among the nation's best in multiple categories, including opponents' yards per game and third-down percentage.

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Florida Hires Jim McElwain

Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Colorado State is letting Jim McElwain walk away and take the open Florida coaching job, the Gators confirmed Thursday.

McElwain and Colorado State were working on the $7.5 million buyout deal in his contract as of Wednesday night and both sides couldn't come to a close, but things worked out on Thursday.

McElwain just finished his third season with the Rams and led them to a 10-2 season.

Prior to taking the job at Colorado State, McElwain was the offensive coordinator at Alabama and tutored Greg McElroy and AJ McCarron during their tenure.

McElwain takes over a Florida team that never finished above 90th nationally in offense under Will Muschamp.

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Florida State Remains Undefeated with Win over Florida

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(TALLAHASSEE, Fl.) -- With a 24-19 victory over their in-state rival Florida Gators, the Florida State Seminoles remain the only undefeated team in college football.

Quarterback Jameis Winston struggled Saturday afternoon, throwing four interceptions while completing 12 of 24 passes. He did throw two touchdowns to tight end Nick O'Leary to lead the Seminoles to their 28th straight victory.

"He goes out there and something good happens, he lets it go," O'Leary said. "Something bad happens, he lets it go. Just does everything the same and moves on and keeps playing his best."

Florida State's defense carried the team, holding Florida to 282 total yards and intercepting Gators quarterback Treon Harris twice. One key interception came when Terrance Smith picked off an errant pass from Harris inside the Seminoles' 10-yard line.  Smith found a convoy of blockers and raced 94 yards for a touchdown. The Gators were leading 9-0.

"Our defense was tremendous tonight," said Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher. "They just keep fighting and finding ways."

The Seminoles (12-0) head to the ACC title game to face the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (10-2) on December 6 in Charlotte.  

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