Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

NCAA News: FGCU loses coach Andy Enfield to USC

Published on April 2, 2013 by admin   ·   No Comments

In what sounded like a very bad April Fool’s Day joke to students, players and fans of FGCU, news surfaced late Monday evening that coach Andy Enfield was accepting a job with the USC Trojans. Enfield’s name became one of the hottest commodities in the NCAA coaching ranks after he helped to lead the FGCU Eagles to the Sweet 16 in just their second year of NCAA Tournament eligibility. This was a historic run, being the first time a 15-seed advanced to the Sweet 16.

Enfield’s name was tied to virtually every coaching vacancy in the college ranks. Reports linked him to not only the USC position but the University of Minnesota as well as Texas Tech and Old Dominion.

ESPN is reporting that the deal is for six years and worth over $1 million dollars annually. Enfield was coaching for just $157,000 this year and was in the second year of a five-year deal. Southwest Florida media outlets reported the the university was scrambling to find ways in increase his salary after the team’s historic win over Georgetown in the first-round of the tournament. (UPDATE-Ft Myers NBC 2 is reporting the deal is worth more than $1.5 million)

FGCU was limited in the amount of money they could pay Enfield, and if he had stayed while enjoying continued success on the hardwood, his departure was going to be inevitable.

Local media in Fort Myers, Florida asked Enfield about his plans when the team returned from the tournament on Saturday and he responded by saying that he and his family were going to take a few days to decide. ”Anytime you are successful in this business, it’s just natural. My personal life and my family’s personal life have been under scrutiny the last week, week and a half, that we just want to take a break, take a deep breath, realize what our team did for this university and this community, and we’ll go from there in there in the next few days.”

According to the Fort Myers News-Press, Enfield met with his team just after 11p.m. on Monday night. FGCU forward Chase Fieler told the paper, “Coach Enfield brought us in together. It was really hard to take.” Fieler continued, “We’re a close-knit group. We know what we have. We know what we are capable of. We’re excited for the season to come. We hope coach Enfield has a great future. We’re sad to lose him, but at some point we knew it was going to happen.”

Perhaps all of Southwest Florida knew it was just a matter of time.

Enfield really bonded with his team. One could just sense the passion his team had playing for him. His high-flying, up-tempo style of coaching will fit in well in Southern California, after all it’s the city that was used to electric play of ‘Showtime’ by the Lakers from years ago.

In life there is a saying, when people say it’s not about the money, it’s always about the money. Enfield has not commented on his decision and it’s possible that money did not play a role in this decision although a $1 million dollar pay raise is nothing to shake off lightly.

Enfield understands the business world and perhaps he realized that his coaching value might never be higher. The Fort Myers-Naples television marked ranks 62nd, Los Angeles is second in the country. FGCU couldn’t even get their games broadcast on local radio this season. He moves from the Atlantic Sun conference to the Pac-12.

His wife, Amanda, is a former Victoria’s Secret model, perhaps she wants to get back into the modeling world and if that is the case, she would have to do a lot of traveling out of the Fort Myers area in order to do that. She could possibly return to here career now in Los Angeles and not have to be away from their three young children.

USC released a statement from Enfield, “My family and I are thrilled to join the Trojan Family and be part of the unparalleled athletic tradition at USC. I’m looking forward to bringing an exciting, up-tempo style of play to USC and building the men’s basketball brand into one the fans and basketball community will enjoy and respect.”

It was a remarkable run this year for the FGCU Eagles and Enfield. He put himself as well as the FGCU Eagles on the map this year. It was a smart move for Enfield although the region will be sad to see him leave.

FGCU struck gold when they hired the little known Enfield and now the university will be hoping to do the same in hiring his replacement.

USC finished 9th in the Pac-12 this season with a 14-18 overall record, 9-9 in conference play. The Trojans have not made the NCAA Tournament since 2011 and is 12-17 in their history. They advanced to the regional in 2007 and in 2001. In 1954, USC advanced to the national semifinals.

At FGCU, Enfield went 41-28 in two seasons, winning the Atlantic Sun conference this season, the first championship for the university in the young history.

Eric Schmidt is the owner/editor of You can follow Eric on Twitter @bucco40 and make sure to visit the pigskinreport FB page. Make sure to visit our other sites- and for all of your sports needs.

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