Florida Gulf Coast University made NCAA Tournament history on Sunday night. With their defeat of San Diego State University, they have become the first ever 15 seeded team to advance to the Sweet Sixteen portion of the toruney. They will play the University of Florida in the next round, the first time in the tournament that two teams from the State of Florida will square off against one another.
With the new found success for the FGCU Eagles will also come potential problems. Eagles men’s basketball coach Andy Enfield has become a very hot commodity. FGCU is a young university and has enjoyed some unprecedented success this season under Enfield’s guidance. The Eagles won the Atlantic Sun Conference title, reached the NCAA Tourney in just their second year of eligibility for the contest and now have re-written the NCAA record books.
Fort Myers NBC affiliate Channel 2 reports in an exclusive report this evening that the university is scrambling to re-work Enfield’s contract. NBC2 reports that the university is looking to double the current $158,000 annual salary for Enfield, who is currently in the second-year of a five-year deal.
The television station reports that the university does not currently have the money to make that happen and hopes that donations will come into the university in order to make that happen. Enfield has an interesting resume, including being married to a former model which graced the cover of Maxim magazine. He is a very successful entrepreneur, so I don’t think that a doubling of his salary will be enough to keep Enfield entrenched at FGCU unless he really enjoys the SW Florida area.
He is young, 43. He has three young children. Perhaps he enjoys the SW Florida lifestyle. It’s laid back, there is (or should I say was) little media scrutiny. But facts are facts. He turned this program around very quickly. High profile jobs are going to come calling and if he manages to get the Eagles past the Gators in the Sweet Sixteen, all bets will be off, he could name his salary and likely have a choice of jobs.
Enfield is negotiating from a position of strength. He is in the national spotlight and he has given FGCU millions of dollars worth of exposure with his team’s success in the NCAA Tourney. The powers that be at the university are going to have to find a way, any way, to keep him on the sidelines at Alico Arena. The team that didn’t get any of their games broadcast on local radio this year, might see some national broadcasts next year. It’s time to add more than two concession windows. It might also be time to add another phone line or two in the season ticket office for next season.
The upstart university an ill-afford to lose their hottest commodity right now, Andy Enfield.
Eric Schmidt is the owner/editor of thepigskinreport.com. You can follow Eric on Twitter @bucco40 and make sure to visit the pigskinreport FB page. Make sure to visit our other sites- hardballchat.com, roundballchat.com and centericechat.com for all of your sports needs.