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Photos: Billy Donovan Gave The Florida Softball Team A Pep Talk Ahead Of CWS Game In OKC

Florida's Billy Donovan poses with the softball team.


Defending national champion Florida is in Oklahoma City for the opening of the Women's College World Series, and happen to be staying in a hotel near former UF men's basketball coach Billy Donovan. Coach Tim Walton became good friends with Donovan during their time in athletic department together, and asked the two time national championship-winning coach to speak to his team last night. According to the players and coaches, Donovan didn't disappoint.

“It was a great surprise,” said Florida senior Lauren Haeger. “You can tell that he’s been coaching guys a really long time because the volume of his voice kept going up and up and up.

“He would look at you and look into your eyes and he’s speaking to your soul. I felt it. It pumped us up.”


“If he can’t pump you up, I don't know who can,” said freshman Kayli Kvistad, who had a two-run homer in Florida’s 7-2 win over Tennessee on Thursday. “Coming in as a freshman, it made me feel at home.”

The team also took the chance to grab a few pictures with the new Oklahoma City Thunder head coach.

">@UFCoachBillyD drops in to talk with @GatorZoneSBall!

— Matt Stewart (@MattStew13)

@UFCoachBillyD drops in to talk with @GatorZoneSBall!

— Matt Stewart (@MattStew13) May 28, 2015

">May 28, 2015

">May 28, 2015

">May 28, 2015

Walton was thrilled that Donovan could speak to the team:

“I’m very grateful for him to do that for us. That’s the beauty of coaching at the University of Florida and the culture (athletic director) Jeremy Foley has created for us. Billy’s a friend of mine and someone I look up to.”

After beating Tennessee this afternoon, the top-seeded Gators will face No. 5 LSU on Friday at 7 p.m.