William John Donovan Jr. is an American professional basketball coach and former player who is the head coach for the Chicago Bulls of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He coached previously for the Oklahoma City Thunder from 2015 to 2020. Before moving to the NBA, he served as the head basketball coach at the University of Florida from 1996 to 2015, and led his Florida Gator teams to back-to-back NCAA championships in 2006 and 2007, as well as an NCAA championship appearance in 2000.
Donovan was born and raised in Rockville Centre on Long Island, New York, where he played basketball at St. Agnes Cathedral High School. He was the starting point guard for Rick Pitino's Providence College squad and led the Friars to the 1987 Final Four. As such, he is one of only four men (Dean Smith, Joe B. Hall and Bobby Knight being the others) to appear in the NCAA Final Four as a player and win the NCAA national championship as a coach. After college, Donovan spent the 1987–88 and 1988–89 basketball seasons split between the developmental Continental Basketball Association and the NBA's New York Knicks, who were led by his former college coach, Rick Pitino.
Donovan ended his professional basketball career in 1989 and briefly worked as a Wall Street stock broker before following Pitino to his new job at the University of Kentucky. Donovan served as an assistant coach for the Kentucky Wildcats men's basketball from 1989 to 1993, working his way from an unpaid graduate assistant to top assistant coach and lead recruiter under Pitino. He accepted his first head coaching position at Marshall University in 1994 and led the Thundering Herd to a 35–20 record over two seasons. Donovan was hired to revive Florida's basketball program in 1996. After two losing seasons while he rebuilt the roster with a national recruiting effort, Donovan's Gators began a streak of sixteen straight 20-win seasons, a period in which his teams appeared in four Final Fours and won two NCAA championships. He is the winningest coach in program history, and he led his teams to more NCAA tournament appearances, NCAA tournament wins, and Southeastern Conference (SEC) championships than all of Florida's other basketball coaches combined.
During Donovan's 19 years at Florida, he was often rumored to be a candidate for various NCAA and NBA head coaching positions. In June 2007, after leading the Gators to their second consecutive national title, he accepted an offer to become the head coach of the NBA's Orlando Magic. However, he immediately had second thoughts, and after a week, he persuaded the Magic to release him from his newly signed contract and allow him to return to Florida, where he remained for eight more seasons, and wouldn't make an NBA return until 2015.
After 19 years at Florida, Donovan accepted an offer to coach the NBA's Oklahoma City Thunder in April 2015. In his first season with the team, the Thunder were division winners and reached the Conference finals, where they lost to the Golden State Warriors in seven games after building a 3–1 series lead. In subsequent seasons under Donovan, the Thunder finished with winning records and never missed the playoffs but were unable to progress past the first round. He was named the NBA Coach's Association Coach of the Year after the 2019–20 season, but after a discussion with the Thunder front office regarding the "future direction of the team", he left by mutual agreement and accepted an offer to coach the Chicago Bulls in September 2020.