The Florida Gulf Coast men’s basketball team is readjusting to new personalities and attitudes toward the game and our basketball program.
Last March, the Eagles made history and became the first 15-seed team to advance to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament, and Andy Enfield, the head coach at the time, became FGCU’s newest celebrity.
Despite the success of the team and the national prominence brought to FGCU, Enfield left to pursue his second-ever head coaching position, at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
Although having a five-year contract with FGCU, Enfield left after two years, describing it to USA TODAY as too great of a personal and professional opportunity to pass up. Enfield reportedly makes $1.5 million a year now, 10 times more than his $150,000 salary at FGCU.
Before coming to FGCU, Enfield was an assistant coach for the Milwaukee Bucks, Boston Celtics, and Florida State Seminoles. He says he’s always maintained the same coaching philosophy— enjoy your team and its capabilities.
Ken Kavanagh, FGCU athletic director, said Enfield had a “laid back” personality and approached things calmly. Despite his lightheartedness, Kavanagh also said Enfield was thorough and analytical in his coaching.
But this season, the Eagles are getting used to Joe Dooley, who Kavanagh described as more “intense” than Enfield. However, Kavanagh said they share something in common.
“Andy and Joe have been winners their whole life,” Kavanagh said.
Dooley’s resume proves just that.
He’s best known for his 10-year assistant coaching position at the University of Kansas under head coach Bill Self. In the past 10 seasons, the Kansas Jayhawks had 300 wins, nine straight Big 12 regular season titles and one national title in 2008.
When asked about his coaching style, Dooley said he “wakes up ready to go.” Starting guard Brett Comer said that Dooley is much more vocal and strict than Enfield was. But he feels it’s only making the team better. He, too, used the word “intense” to describe Dooley.
Captain Chase Fieler said he enjoys how defense oriented Dooley is. Last year, Enfield emphasized offense more. However, Dooley is remaining true to the signature, up-tempo style that caught national attention at last March’s tournament.
Fieler also said that he respects the reasons Dooley chose FGCU.
“He’s here for the right reasons. He saw something in us. He wants to make this program his,” Fieler said.
When asked if he would leave if the opportunity presented itself like Enfield, Dooley said: “I signed a five-year contract. If I didn’t want to be here I would have stayed in Kansas.” In fact, Dooley even took a $75,000 pay decrease from $300,000 to $225,000 per year to coach at Dunk City.
Dooley says he is “anxious” for the season to start.
Fans can watch the new coach in action on the Big Ten Network against Nebraska at 9 p.m. Friday, or at the first home game next Tuesday at 7a.m. The home opener will be aired live on ESPN’s “24-Hour Tip-Off” special.