When Atlantic Sun Conference champion Florida Gulf Coast University upset the Georgetown Hoyas, 78-68, in the second round of the NCAA Basketball Tournament Friday they became just the seventh 15 seed in history to beat a 2 seed.
The high-flying Eagles played above the rim and showed no fear in taking on the Hoyas. During the game, obviously in the midst of one of FGCU’s many explosive runs, the University’s official Twitter account answered a popular question with one of the best tweets ever from an institution of higher learning.
"When people ask you where FGCU is, just tell them Dunk City, Florida!"
Just two days later FGCU made history by beating San Diego State 81-71 and moved on to the Sweet Sixteen. The Eagles became the first 15 seed ever to advance this far in the NCAA Tournament.
Over the course of the opening rounds of the tournament, the FGCU Twitter account gained over 800 new followers, breaking 1,000 easily. Even the city of Fort Myers, Fla. (where FGCU actually is located) got into the act by re-writing the city’s motto, at least temporarily, on their website.
But who is the true benefactor from FGCU’s magical run?
The answer is definitely head coach Andy Enfield.
Enfield became an instant media darling with his team’s two tournament wins. In just his two short seasons with the Eagles he took his team to the A-Sun Conference Championship and lost in the school’s first year of Division I postseason eligibility, and then won and moved on to the NCAA’s this year, their first trip ever to the NCAA Tournament.
After playing four seasons at Johns Hopkins and setting a still-standing free-throw percentage record (92.5 percent) Enfield went on to get his MBA and found a tech startup. Then he got into coaching.
Enfield was an assistant coach with the Milwaukee Bucks and the Boston Celtics in the NBA before moving on to be an assistant at Florida State for six seasons before taking the head coaches’ job at FGCU.
Along the way Enfield married a super model, had three children and became a millionaire. Winning two tournament games hardly seems like a blip on the radar. But those two wins could change Enfield’s basketball coaching life forever.
When the tournament is complete, no matter what happens to FGCU, Enfield is going to get job offers.
After Virginia’s Commonwealth’s run to the Final Four in 2010, head coach Shaka Smart was approached by a number of bigger basketball programs. He decided to stay at VCU, but schools still call.
After Ohio advanced to the Sweet Sixteen last year, their head coach John Groce turned into a hot commodity. He turned that buzz into a gig at Illinois.
Some big-time basketball program, possibly multiple schools, is going to call Enfield soon after the tournament and offer him a job. For a man who seems to already have everything, will moving up the coaching ladder be something he’s interested in?