IMO, JB gave more free reign in games to Donlon than I've ever seen him give to other assistants. And you could definitely see his increased influence over the course of the season.
Sam Webb said we offered a raise. And Donlon already made more than any other assistant under JB. Don't think money was an issue at all.
Definitely a blow. But I think you're reading into things that aren't even there. Donlon is from the area, his family is in the area and he's good friends with Collins and there's potentially a shorter pathway to being a HC at a high major school there.