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FGCU’s future bright without Enfield
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On April 2, 2013 @ 7:00 pm In Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by David Jones, USA TODAY Sports
GAINESVILLE — Andy Enfield put Florida Gulf Coast on the college basketball map. But with Enfield leaving to coach at USC, now comes the more important move.
Coaches come and go in college hoops, especially on the mid-major level. The key is sustaining and continuing to build. That’s put FGCU at a crossroads, but ESPN’s Dick Vitale likes where the Eagles sit.
Vitale notes that the Butlers and the VCUs of the world have kept winning as players and staffs changed. Continuing to grow is what got them there.
“Two wins in the tournament was a nice start,” Vitale said Tuesday. “But they’re not done what they need to do.”
“There are a number of great assistant coaches across the country,” he said. “I think the interest (in the job) will be very enthusiastic. when you need is not just an X’s and O’s guy but a guy with a lot of energy, a lot of enthusiasm.”
FGCU followed the classic path to quick success that Vitale expects to be the map for a second try at greatness. And this time, the Eagles have an advantage a lot of programs on the mid-major level do not have — massive publicity and attention along with proof it can be done there.
Before coming to FGCU, Enfield was an assistant coach at Florida State for five years and helped the Seminoles to three consecutive NCAA tournaments, including the Sweet 16 in 2011. Young, bright and eager, FGCU took a chance on him.
That chance paid off huge.
“(Enfield) is a rising star,” Vitale said of the FGCU coach getting gobbled up so quickly by a BCS school. “I’m not surprised at all.”
Enfield was 41-28 in his two seasons in Fort Myers, equaling the school’s combined win total in the four years before he took the job.
The Eagles went from 15-17 last season to making it to the Sweet 16 this season — the first No. 15 seed to ever advance that far.
Now Vitale said, it’s best not to hold any ill feelings but understand this is what happens when success comes so suddenly and make that next great hire.
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