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Andy Enfield to take over at USC, school announces

Apr 1, 2013, 11:39 PM EDT

Florida Gulf Coast Eagles head coach Andy Enfield yells to his team playing against the Florida Gators in their South Regional NCAA men's basketball game in Arlington Reuters

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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.

MORE: USC recruits love the hire

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.

MORE: Enfield a risky choice, but worth the gamble

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

  1. barnesaintnoble - Apr 1, 2013 at 11:45 PM

    I bet the wife gets back into modeling now that she’ll be in Los Angeles.

  2. rabbi187 - Apr 2, 2013 at 12:18 AM

    Thats hardly a step up. Especially not as far as talent is concerned…

  3. tomtravis76 - Apr 2, 2013 at 12:59 AM

    Hope it works out for him. The FGCU run in the tourney was very memorable. The biggest challenge will be the player pool now available to him. At a small school guys are pumped for the opportunity to play collge ball , but at a school like USC guys are looking at the school as a stepping stone.

  4. nickp91 - Apr 2, 2013 at 1:04 AM

    the big-name coach moves from the Atlantic Sun to the recruiting bevy of Pac-12 country

  5. mungman69 - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:04 AM

    Good luck, pal.

  6. majorhavoc83 - Apr 2, 2013 at 8:52 AM

    This is going to be one of those “high risk, high reward” kind of jobs. Andy wasn’t really under a ton of pressure at FGCU, and the players could play loose & fast paced. Now he’ll be under the microscope at USC, and the expectation is that he’ll be able to build an even better program because of the available recruiting talent. It ain’t gonna be pretty if Andy can’t get the team to perform. USC isn’t paying him over $1MM/year over 6 years for nothing. What’s the expression? “Out of the frying pan and into the fire!!”

    I do wish him well, and I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on USC. It’d be impressive if he could create a successful/winning program out there.

  7. florida727 - Apr 2, 2013 at 8:53 AM

    Enfield will do well at USC. They’re lucky to get him. His wife will do even better, if she wants to. Tough to manage three kids and a modeling career would be my guess, but the opportunities will be there. As far as USC being a football school first, a couple things come to mind: a) Florida’s always been a football first school and Billy Donovan won back-to-back national titles and took his last three teams to the Elite Eight, so Enfield can have an impact at USC, it’s been done before, and b) everyone knows football is king; even at Kentucky which has a rich basketball tradition and an awful football program, their football team generates more revenue for the school than hoops, so financially the burden isn’t there for Enfield to be concerned about, he’s already covered. If he touts his uptempo, flying circus style of play, he’ll also do extremely well recruiting-wise. He’s obviously in a talent-rich area, and fan interest aside, it ain’t all bad having a degree on your resume from a place like USC. Good luck, Coach.

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