Former Florida Gators coach Billy Donovan was depressed after winning 2 national championships because 'it doesn't change your life one bit'

  • The college basketball national championship is on Monday.
  • Former Florida Gators head coach and now Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Billy Donovan explained how he was depressed after winning two titles with Florida in 2006 and 2007.
  • Donovan said winning championships doesn’t “change your life one bit,” and that the drive for championships made him lose sight of what he valued most.

The college basketball national championship is the conclusion of the NCAA Tournament and the entire college basketball season, but the result isn’t always what people imagine, according to one former college coach.

Billy Donovan, now the head coach of the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder and the former head coach of the Florida Gators, explained to reporters on Saturday that when he won two titles with Florida in 2006 and 2007, it ultimately left him feeling empty.

“I would say after that experience was over with, I was depressed,” Donovan said of winning back-to-back titles. “Because I lost total sight of what it’s all about.

“I don’t mean lost sight in terms of what goes into winning, but the fact that it doesn’t change your life one bit. Other than someone may write next to your name ‘national championship coach,’ ‘two-time’- outside of that, it does not change your life.”

Donovan’s comments came after Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo said his legacy as a coach feels incomplete by only winning one national championship. Izzo’s Spartans lost to Texas Tech in the Final Four on Saturday. Texas Tech will face Virginia in the national championship on Monday.

Donovan said that after winning the titles, he learned what he values most from coaching and competing.

“I’m still driven to win championships. I still love doing that, but I have a totally different perspective than I did when I hadn’t,” he said.

He added: “At the end of the day, if it’s all about the ring and the trophy, you lose the most valuable thing, and it’s the group of people and the relationships that are established of people working together to accomplish something that they couldn’t accomplish on their own.”

Read more: Then and now: What NBA coaches looked like when they were players

Watch Donovan’s comments below:

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