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And USC has reportedly won the Andy Enfield Sweepstakes.
The Trojans have tabbed the Florida Gulf Coast coach as the next leader of their program, the school announced late Monday night.
Enfield leaves the Eagles after two seasons and an improbable run to the Sweet 16, the first by a 15 seed in NCAA Tournament history. FGCU beat both no.2-seed Georgetown and no. 7-seed San Diego State handily before falling to Florida in Dallas. The tournament berth was the first-ever for FGCU in only their second season as a full-fledged Division I member.
“My family and I are thrilled to join the Trojan Family and be part of the unparalleled athletic tradition at USC,” Enfield said in the release. “In meeting with Pat Haden, I was very impressed with his vision for the men’s basketball program. I am looking forward to bringing an exciting, up-tempo style of play to USC and building the men’s basketball brand into one that the fans and basketball community will enjoy and respect.
“I want to thank FGCU president Wilson Bradshaw, athletic director Ken Kavanagh and the Eagles’ administration for their unwavering support of our program. And I especially thank my players for their exceptional accomplishments that put FGCU on the national map. I know the program will continue to soar.”
He is 41-28 in two seasons as a collegiate head coach. Enfield will take over for interim head coach Bob Cantu, who replaced Kevin O’Neill who was fired after a 7-10 start this season.
Now, Enfield will take on one of the more challenging jobs in college hoops. USC is in a great media market in southern California, which is also a hotbed for prep talent. However, outside of Tim Floyd’s era (three NCAA Tournament appearances from 2005-2009) with the program that resulted in NCAA sanctions, it’s been tough for a coach to win consistently at USC in the last 20 years.
Enfield was able to build something at FGCU and no one can blame him for leaving, but it’s going to be tough for a guy who did all his work on the east coast to go all the way west and try and duplicate it, especially at a school that values football more than basketball. However, Enfield is energetic enough and if he can jump into the recruiting game early and aggressively, he might be able to capitalize on the “Dunk City” tag he helped create and make it popular in SoCal.
Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten