Billy D questions Pelphrey’s firing


Florida coach Billy Donovan had mixed feelings on the day after leading Florida to the NCAA Tournament for the 11th time in 15 seasons as coach.

Donovan learned earlier in the day that close friend and former Florida assistant coach John Pelphrey was fired at Arkansas.

“John’s situation, I feel bad for,” Donovan said. “It’s an unfortunate situation because I’m not really sure, I mean (former Arkansas and current USF coach) Stan Heath, I think took two teams to the NCAA Tournament. And they make a change.

“Then John goes in there and goes to the NCAA Tournament with all of Stan’s players and does a good job coaching them. He’s in his third year with his entire team returning with a top 5 recruiting class, that doesn’t make sense to me.”

Donovan questioned the timing of Pelphrey’s  firing, saying he felt Pelphrey really had three years instead of four years because he inherited most of Heath’s players. Pelphrey worked under Donovan as an assistant at both Marshall and Florida from 1994-2002 before taking his first head coaching job at South Alabama. Pelphrey led USA to the NCAA Tournament in 2006, where they lost to eventual national championship Florida in Jacksonville.

“I think at Arkansas they’re going to have to make a decision,” Donovan said. “Are they going to let somebody? ‑‑ because every time you make that kind of decision, first of all you don’t know if any of the recruits are going to stay.  You don’t know if any of the older players are going to stay.  So if you have mass exodus there, they’re starting off worse than when John took over.

“The unfortunate part is they’re going to get a good coach, and it’s a good program, and it’s a good situation.  But at some point they’re going to have to let whoever is in there be able to do the job.”


  1. Would agree with Coach here– with the class he had coming in, the timing is on. Makes you wonder if there is a home run hire in the making. Bud Walton is an intimidating building when the Hogs are good– all the pieces are in place to win big.

  2. Looks to me like another program with too much Booster interferance. John
    was doing a good job. Must have rubbed some inflated ego the wrong way.

    No program can avoid confusion and turmoil when the Boosters are making decisions that ADs are paid to make. Look what Alabama was like
    before Sabin and Grant showed up. It was a Funny Farm.

    John is a good coach and will come out of this better off.

  3. Hog boosters envision their program as on par with UK, UNC and Duke. In reality they are a second tier program who needs a great coach and recruiter to succeed. Unfortunately that type of coach doesn’t want to go to Fayetteville because of location and booster problems. Tenn has similar problems so they had to hire a coach with a questionable background who has pulled the UT program into the deep doo doo. They may wish that they had Pelphrey back. Is there anyone on the Arkansas recruiting list we can use?

  4. Coach Pelphrey did a terrific job bringing stability to our chaotic situation. Arkansas fired him just before he was able to reap the benefits of his four years of hard work, blood, sweat & tears.
    All you can make out of it is Arkansas put the big shaft to him.

    I have been a Razorback fans for 33 years, but what Arkansas have done to Coach Pelphrey I don’t feel the same way about Arkansas Basketball Program anymore and I don’t think this feeling will go away anytime soon or it might never go away. If Coach Pelphrey got a new coaching job I could see myself becoming a fan of his new team.