On Monday night, Andy Enfield made the decision to leave Florida Gulf Coast and take the open position at USC.
Fresh off a historic run to the Sweet 16 that virtually made FGCU known to the basketball public, Enfield undoubtedly became one of the more hotter names on the coaching carousel.
For those who are still drinking the Florida Gulf Coast Kool Aid, you need to face the reality of Enfield and his decision.
What the Eagles did over the past two weeks was nothing short of incredible. On the heels of Florida Gulf Coast’s run, we saw loyal, non-power six conference coaches like Brad Stevens and Shaka Smart turn down higher offers to remain with their current schools. Butler, VCU and even Gonzaga with head coach Mark Few however, are not Florida Gulf Coast. In fact, they are higher up the totem pole and can compete on a national stage, year in and year out.
If Florida Gulf Coast (second seed in conference tournament) loses to Mercer in the championship contest of the Atlantic Sun Tournament, most of the nation probably would have no idea who Enfield is and USC certainly isn’t calling him.
However, the Eagles did win that game and they did make history by advancing to the Sweet 16. So why wouldn’t Enfield jump on this opportunity? Just because Florida Gulf Coast made one Cinderella run and stole the hearts of fans all over does not mean they are the next Gonzaga or Butler or VCU.
At Florida Gulf Coast, Enfield was making approximately $157,000 per season. USC will pay him over $1 million a year — that’s a increase 10x his salary in Fort Meyers and one that FGCU certainly cannot afford to pay its basketball coach. Nobody in their right mind would turn down a salary increase like that.
Not five, not six, not seven (LeBron James voice), but ten times the salary increase. It could be a once in a lifetime opportunity for Enfield and his career, so why would anyway bash him for not remaining at Florida Gulf Coast?
Enfield did his job at Florida Gulf Coast and helped give the school a shining moment that may never be topped. I’m sure he’s loyal in that regard, but why blame him for taking the job at USC given the facts?
Enfield is a Trojan, it’s official. Time to move forward.
Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS