Southern California has hired Andy Enfield as the new head basketball coach after he led the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament. USC will introduce Enfield on Wednesday as the new coach, as he has risen to popularity after the amazing run in which FGCU upset No. 2 seeded Georgetown and No. 7 seeded San Diego State.
The 43-year-old spent two seasons at FGCU, combining for a 41-28 record and the university’s first NCAA tournament appearance in 2013. FGCU became known as “Dunk City” after a magical display against Georgetown in the opening round that made the nation aware of the small school from Fort Myers, Florida.
Enfield’s Eagles were beat in the Sweet 16 by the Florida Gators, who went on to lose to Michigan by 20 points in the Elite Eight. Since being booted from the tournament, rumors have swirled that many schools were interested in the up and coming head coach.
According to Marcus Fuller of the Pioneer Press, the University of Minnesota was reported to have strong interest in bringing Enfield to the Gophers before a deal was made with USC. Old Dominion University of the Colonial Athletic Association also identified Enfield as a possible candidate, according to Ed Miller of the Virginian-Pilot.
Enfield’s options would have grown even more if not for signing with USC, where he will take the reigns of a Trojans’ team that finished the 2012-13 season at 14-18 and lost in the first round of the Pac-12 tournament to Utah. The Trojans finished near the bottom of the Pac-12 and posted a 1-5 record against teams in the top-25.
Enfield has his work cut out for him at USC, but made it known that he is proud to join the Trojans in a statement after the school announced he would become the new coach.
“My family and I are thrilled to join the Trojan family and be apart of the unparalleled athletic tradition at USC,” Enfield said in the statement. “In meeting with Pat Haden, I was very impressed with his vision for the men’s basketball program.”
Haden is USC’s current Athletic Director, and it didn’t take long for the school to announce Enfield’s signing on twitter late Monday. Haden also went on to add that he spent five hours with USC’s new head coach on Monday and is very excited for the program.
Does hiring Andy Enfield as the new head coach give the Trojans an advantage going into recruiting? Will USC be a better team next year as Enfield brings his up-tempo style to the Pac-12?