Florida Gulf Coast Coach Andy Enfield: Living the Dream
Let me get off my chest that I am Georgetown fan. As a fan of Georgetown, Florida Gulf Coast University running circles around a Hoya team that I thought had real Final Four aspirations was devastating.
As a fan of basketball, however, all I have to say is wow. That was one of the most amazing things I have seen on a basketball court. The way the Eagles of FGCU dissected a steadfast, meticulous Georgetown team was exhilarating. Then, they did it again against San Diego State and #DunkCity is becoming a real thing. The more we learn about FGCU, the more lovable they become. Especially coach Andy Enfield. Anything but the normal model of a college basketball coach, Enfield is living out almost every sports fan's dream:
Enfield's rise to stardom in the coaching has been rapid. He was virtually unknown before the Georgetown win. Most of the news leading up to the game was that the FGCU had a supermodel wife: Amanda Marcum.
The university itself was virtually unknown as well. FGCU didn't have a student until 1997 and wasn't a division 1 basketball program until 2007 and 2013 is only the second year that the team was eligible to play in the NCAA Tournament. After Friday night's shellacking of an over-matched Georgetown team, FGCU is in the national spotlight. Their online admissions page traffic skyrocketed by 431% on Friday compared to the day before in the wake of their win.
Meanwhile, Enfield's story is the most captivating of them all. He holds the NCAA record for free throw shooting, shooting .925 during his career at Johns Hopkins, where he scored over 2,000 points for the school in the late 80s and early 90s.
From there, Enfield served for six years as an assistant coach in the NBA. Then, with an MBA from Maryland, he went on to produce a health services start up called Tracked Manager that went on to sell for $100 million. But he left to return to coaching at Florida State in 2006 and before finally getting the FGCU job in 2011.
Along the way he met Marcum, his supermodel wife who has appeared inElle, Maxim, and Vogue. Their first date was at at a Taco Bell in 2003. They're now married with children, and she followed him as he chased his basketball coaching dreams. Right now, it is paying off.
Many a 15-year-old basketball lover may have a to-do list on his bedside stand. If Enfield was to go down the list, most of the goals would be accomplished.
Set an NCAA Record ... Check.
Marry a supermodel ... Check.
Start up a multi-million dollar company ... Check.
Coach a 15-seed to one of the more impressive upsets over a 2-seed in NCAA Tournament history ... Check.
Become the first 15-seed to make a Sweet Sixteen ... Check.
Meet Luke Skywalker ... Okay, maybe Enfield doesn't have it all.
But there are still a few more check marks to fill in. In Enfield's perfect world, Florida Gulf Coast will be the first 15-seed to advance to the Elite Eight with a win over Florida on Friday, March 29 in Arlington, Texas.
For you enjoyment, please watch this, one of the greatest alley-oops in tournament history:
And this one of the celebration from the San Diego State Game: