Andy Enfield: FGCU Coach's Relaxed Approach Is Breath of Fresh Air

Tim KeeneyContributor IMarch 29, 2013

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 24:   Head coach Andy Enfield of the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles smiles in the second half while taking on the San Diego State Aztecs during the third round of the 2013 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Wells Fargo Center on March 24, 2013 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

If college basketball is broken—an absurd theory, mind you, but many still argue the fact—then Florida Gulf Coast and head coach Andy Enfield are the super glue. 

And that's not just because the Eagles are the first ever No. 15 seed in the Sweet 16.

It's because of their style. It's because of their desire to turn the game into a track meet. It's because they throw more alley-oops than the Flint Tropics. It's because all of their players attack the rim like they are immersed in a friendly game of Slamball.

Because of Sherwood Brown's dreads, Chase Fieler's monstrous throw downs and Bernard Thompson's pickpocket ability. 

Because of Brett Comer's remarkable story, his charismatic swagger and his jaw-dropping vision. 

In a world where college hoops is all too often defined by slow tempos, defensive standoffs, physical play and bruised rims, FGCU is one of the welcomed, entertaining outliers.

And all of that is made possible by Enfield. 

The red-hot head coach garners a lot of attention because he is supposedly a millionaire and has a supermodel wife—OK, I want to be him—but he deserves applaud for simply acknowledging his team's strengths and letting his boys play.

That may seem like a supposedly simple task for a head coach, but so many others have fallen into Georgetown's trap of slowing the game down and gotten crushed by it. So many others have forgotten their team's identity and lost because of it. 

Not Enfield. He kept things relaxed and didn't play the Hoyas'—or San Diego State's—game, imploring his unreal athletes to keep pushing the bull, keep running and keep having fun:

Therein lies the fact why this team is so magnetic, so undeniably absorbing. 

They have fun. They play like no one is watching. They are arguably the most electrifying Cinderella since the 1990 Loyola Marymount squad. They are must-see television in a sport that has become notorious for having games drag on with scores in the 50's. 

March underdogs like FGCU undoubtedly give momentum to the sport of college basketball, but most of the time, we forget all about them by the time May rolls around.

But not this time. Not when that underdog is led by an up-and-coming young coach with a beautiful jump shot of his own and a willingness to sit back and let his team play like they are young and full of energy. Not when that coach and team shock the world while putting on a highly entertaining, enthralling show.

Nope. Regardless of whatever (other) records they might set, Andy Enfield and FGCU are improving college basketball, and for that, they'll never be forgotten. 


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