The son of Billy the Kid is looking to follow his famous father into the coaching profession.
Following the Gators 79-70 exhibition win over Barry University Thursday night, coach Billy Donovan said his oldest son, Billy Jr., has decided to pursue a career in coaching.
“Against the wishes of his mother,” Donovan joked.
Donovan Jr. is a redshirt senior walk-on for the Gators, but has been practicing “very little,” according to his father, and spending much of his time breaking down game film.
“If we need him, we use him,” Donovan said. “But if not, it’s been a good year for him, so far, that he’s getting a chance to experience a lot of different things right now. And he’s just available when we need him. He was doing some film breakdown in the back with the video guys to get stuff ready after the game. That’s helpful. He’s been doing some film breakdowns in practices, those kinds of things
“He can help out in practice when he can. He’s obviously on the roster. He can play, but I didn’t think he was going to play tonight. And he can help us out in different ways.”
There was a time when Donovan Jr. was not so sure he wanted to coach.
He spent his first two seasons at Catholic University, a Division III school in Washington D.C., but transferred to UF in the summer of 2012. Donovan Jr. scored four points in 16 appearances last season.
Donovan said his wife, Christine, actually is fine with her oldest of four children going into coaching.
“She wants him to be happy,” Donovan said. “I think she understands the way it is.”
Now it is time for Donovan Jr. to find out if he truly wants to coach.
So far, he has shown the single-mindedness the profession demands.
“I don’t know what level he wants to coach at. I think he’s a little bit undecided,” Donovan said. “I think it’s one of those professions where you really have to be passionate about it, and he appears to be that way about the game. I think there was something early on in his college experience that had him interested in some other things. But he’s really kind of gravitated back to basketball and coaching and he appears to have that passion.
“If he does, I think you can really make a great impact and I think it brings great value to your life in a lot of different ways.”