Andy Enfield’s team may have lost to Florida in the Sweet 16 this past week, but that didn’t do much dissuade at least two schools from the idea that he would be a perfect fit as their new head basketball coach.
Enfield, 43, became one of the hottest names on the coaching market recently when he led the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles on a miraculous run that featured them upsetting the No. 2 ranked Georgetown Hoyas and No. 7 ranked San Diego State Aztecs. After becoming the first No. 15 seed to ever made it to the Sweet 16, the Eagles were blown out by Florida 62-50.
According to Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports, USC is seriously targeting Enfield for their head coaching vacancy. The Trojans are coming off a 14-18 campaign that saw them fire Kevin O’Neill during the season and have Bob Cantu serve as an interim head coach. They are looking for someone who can both win and enthuse the fan base, and apparently they think FGCU’s coach is the man for the job.
Along the same lines, as noted by Larry Brown Sports, Minnesota TV station KSTP reported this past weekend that the Golden Gophers were also apparently interested in Enfield’s services. Minnesota, mind you, fired Tubby Smith after a 21-13 campaign that saw them advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament and lose to the same exact team FGCU lost to.
Enfield has yet to express interest in either school.
While the attention being thrown in Enfield’s general direction is understandable given the run his team went on, it is worth mentioning that he is still a very unproven commodity at this point. A year ago, his school went 15-17 – including 8-10 in the Atlantic Sun Conference. This year, while they admittedly went 26-10, they also got to the Sweet 16 by taking down perennial choke artist Georgetown and the very questionable San Diego State. That’s not to take anything away from what the school accomplished; rather, it’s just important to note that there are more proven winners on the market right now than Enfield. Less splashy, but more proven.
This is going to an interesting week, though. As the memory of FGCU’s run slowly begins to trickle away, you have to wonder if all of the schools who quietly expressed a desire to bring Enfield in will begin to rethink their options.