Florida head coach Billy Donovan holds the NCAA trophy after the second half in a regional final game against Dayton at the NCAA college basketball tournament, Saturday, March 29, 2014, in Memphis, Tenn. Florida won 62-52. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Mark Humphrey

Florida head coach Billy Donovan holds the NCAA trophy after the second half in a regional final game against Dayton at the NCAA college basketball tournament, Saturday, March 29, 2014, in Memphis, Tenn. Florida won 62-52. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Florida coach Donovan to speak at N.C. Wesleyan athletics gala

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The North Carolina Wesleyan Department of Athletics is busy preparing for its 2014 Athletics Gala to be held on Thursday, May 8 in the Dunn Center for the Performing Arts.

In addition to both silent and live auctions, the evening will feature University of Florida men’s basketball coach Billy Donovan as the keynote speaker.

Donovan, who also serves as a head coach with USA Basketball, is the winningest coach in the history of the Florida basketball program, having led the Gators to back-to-back NCAA Division I National Championships in 2006 and 2007.

Prior to his Florida tenure, Donovan played one season with the New York Knicks under the direction of his college coach, Rick Pitino, whom he later joined at the University of Kentucky as an assistant. He accepted his first head coaching position at Marshall in 1994 before accepting the same position with the Gators in 1996.

Donovan enjoyed a stellar collegiate career with Providence University, leading the Friars to a Final Four appearance in 1987.

He remains one of only four men to appear in the NCAA Final Four as a player and win the national championship as a coach.

The evening dedicated to “Spreading the Bishop Pride” will begin at 6 p.m. with a reception and silent auction followed by dinner at 7 p.m.

Donovan’s address and the always entertaining live auction will cap a lovely evening on campus at one of the area’s premier venues.

Tickets are being sold for $125/individual and $225/couple. Tables are also offered for purchase and sponsorship.

Various auction items will include vacation packages, autographed sports memorabilia, golf outings, and jewelry, to name a few.

All proceeds will go directly to the N.C. Wesleyan Department of Athletics.


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