USC hires FGCU's Enfield as men's hoops coach; USC had talked to UTEP's Tim Floyd early on
Southern California hired Andy Enfield as men's basketball coach on Monday night after he took Florida Gulf Coast to the round of 16 of the NCAA tournament.
Athletic director Pat Haden said Enfield has reached an agreement with the Pac-12 school. He will be introduced on Wednesday.
"Those in the basketball world have known of his abilities for a while," Haden said.
He said Enfield's success at FGCU wasn't a flash in the pan and that his up-tempo style and stingy defense will be fun for both the Trojans players and fans.
"In meeting with Pat Haden, I was very impressed with his vision for the men's basketball program," Enfield said in a statement. "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."
The 43-year-old coach was 41-28 in his only two seasons as a head coach at FGCU in Fort Myers, Fla. He led the Eagles to a school-record 26 wins this season, including upsets of No. 2 seed Georgetown and No. 7 seed San Diego State as a 15th-seed in the NCAA tourney. They lost to Florida last Friday.
Enfield's team earned the nickname "Dunk City" for its spectacular dunks and alley-oops. The Eagles scored 70 or more points 25 times this season, and ranked 16th nationally in steals with 8.9 per game.
They won the Atlantic Sun tournament, and had the league's player of the year in Sherwood Brown and defensive player of the year in Bernard Thompson.
Haden called Enfield "a relentless recruiter and he has integrity and great character."
Enfield takes over from interim coach Bob Cantu, who had a 7-8 record after succeeding Kevin O'Neill, who was fired in mid-January.
The Trojans lost their final three games, including a defeat in their first game of the Pac-12 tournament. Starting center Dewayne Dedmon and backup big man James Blasczyk were suspended indefinitely and missed the league tourney following allegations the pair was involved in a melee in Spokane, Wash., during the team's final Pac-12 road trip of the season.
Cantu's status wasn't immediately clear. He has been on the Trojans' staff through four coaching changes and is the longest tenured assistant in the Pac-12.
O'Neill had a 48-65 record during 3½ years at the private school known primarily for its powerful football program after going 6-26 last year while setting a USC record for losses.
The move is a big step up for Enfield.
FGCU has about 11,300 students, plays in a 4,500-seat arena and has only existed for 16 years; USC has 37,000 students, the Trojans play at 10,258-seat Galen Center, and the school has a long tradition of sports success, especially with its nationally ranked football team.
The basketball team has long played in the shadow of cross-town rival UCLA, which hired Steve Alford from New Mexico on Saturday.
USC hasn't made the NCAA tournament since 2011. The Trojans are 12-17 all-time, with their best results coming in 2007 and 2001, when they lost in the regionals, and in 1954, when they lost in the national semifinals.
Before going to FGCU, Enfield was an assistant at Florida State from 2007-11, where the Seminoles made the round of 16 in 2011. He began his coaching career in the NBA as a shooting coach for the Milwaukee Bucks from 1995-96, and was an assistant with Boston from 1999-00.
Enfield's wife, Amanda, drew attention during the NCAA tournament for her model-looks. The couple has three young children.
UTEP's Tim Floyd met with Haden early this year after USC asked UTEP Athletic Director Bob Stull for permission to talk to Floyd.
Floyd met with Haden for three hours in Phoenix and said the meeting "went well."
On March 5, Floyd said he was not offered the USC job.
UTEP Athletic Director Bob Stull released the following statement March 5: "I was contacted six weeks ago by Pat Haden, who was interested in talking to Tim Floyd about the USC coaching job. The meeting took place. Coach Floyd has always indicated to me that he is happy working at UTEP, and until he tells me otherwise he is our coach."
ABC-7 asked Stull on April 1 if any other schools have asked to speak to Floyd and Stull replied, "nope."
Floyd coached USC from 2006-'09 and then resigned in the midst of the NCAA investigating the USC basketball program.
"I chose not to try my case in the media," Floyd told ESPN in March 2010. "I left because of lack of support (at USC)."
He was hired as UTEP's head coach in March 2010, signing a five-year contract and earning $600,000 a year.
The NCAA didn't attach any violations to Floyd when it released its findings and sanctions on USC on June 10, 2010.
The NCAA report's most damaging statement toward Floyd was that he sat in on a meeting with runner Rodney Guillory, who was pushing USC to recruit O.J. Mayo, and that the USC staff continued to recruit Mayo through Guillory even though they had "Googled" to find out that Guillory was identified as a "runner" for a sports agent in a case involving another NCAA member institution.
Floyd has maintained he did nothing wrong.
During Floyd's UTEP radio show in Nov. 2010, he said that after 24 years away from UTEP that it was the right time to return. He said he and his wife, Beverly, were finally ready to plant their feet in El Paso. Floyd was previously an assistant coach at UTEP from 1978-'86 under Don Haskins.
One of the country's top freshmen classes was recruited to UTEP under Floyd and will start playing for UTEP next season.
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