Donovan says Kentucky yet to contact him

Updated: April 5, 2007, 9:54 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- Florida coach Billy Donovan says he has yet to be contacted by Kentucky about the Wildcats' coaching vacancy.

But if they called, he'd listen, Donovan said Wednesday night.

"If I was contacted by them, that would be something that I would have to think about," said Donovan, a former Kentucky assistant under Rick Pitino. "But I think because I've been going so crazy, haven't dealt with my phone, haven't dealt with that stuff."

Sources last week told ESPN.com that Donovan is the Wildcats' top choice to replace Tubby Smith and that Kentucky is prepared to offer Donovan a seven-year contract worth at least $2.8 million per season.

"I think [it's time] to take a deep breath, take a step back and do some thinking and some soul searching. People want things to happen quickly, but I need some time to decompress and take a deep breath."
-- Billy Donovan

Speaking before a fundraising dinner at Marshall University on Wednesday night, Donovan said he needs time to "decompress" following the Gators' second straight national championship, though he endorsed current Florida assistant head coach Donnie Jones for the head coaching job at Marshall.

"I think Donnie's ready," said Donovan, who coached at Marshall from 1994-96 before moving on to Florida.

Jones might be, but Donovan remains uncertain about his future. He said he hasn't been contacted about the Kentucky job since leaving the Georgia Dome after Florida beat Ohio State on Monday night.

Donovan was the featured speaker at the university's annual Big Green Foundation Dinner at the Cam Henderson Center.

Donovan did it as a favor to the school, which had asked Donovan several times over the last few years to speak at the fundraising event. When he booked the engagement, he probably didn't anticipate the reception he received during the news conference.

The center's media parking lot was filled with satellite trucks from as far away as Louisville, three hours to the west, and the press room was packed with double the normal turnout for the dinner's featured speaker.

Most of the media wanted answers about Donovan's future, but after a hectic two days following Florida's historic win, Donovan said he'll take his time before addressing the road ahead.

"I haven't had a lot of time to think about myself or what I want to do," Donovan said. "There'll be a time and place for that. This is not the time and place. This is about Marshall."

The answers may have to wait awhile. Donovan said he's planning to meet with Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley to talk. An on-campus celebration is scheduled at the O'Connell Center on Friday, and on Saturday, Donovan and his family will leave for vacation in the Dominican Republic.

"I think [it's time] to take a deep breath, take a step back and do some thinking and some soul searching," he said. "People want things to happen quickly, but I need some time to decompress and take a deep breath."

Donovan, however, had plenty to say about Jones, a former Marshall assistant who has been with Donovan at Florida since he took the job in 1996.

"My feeling is Marshall and Donnie will talk," he said. "It's a very attractive job. It's a great basketball town. There's great support here. I think Donnie and Marshall will talk."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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