Athletic Directors Dan Guerrero and Pat Haden both succeeded at firing at least 1 coach since the start of the 2012-13 Men’s Basketball seasons, and now both have succeeded at hiring one. The biggest difference between the two hires, is that no one is giving the unknown commodity much credit. To be clear, that unknown commodity is not USC’s new hire Andy Enfield, but the Bruins new face of the storied program, Steve Alford.
Pat Haden hired Andy Enfield after 2 seasons at Florida Gulf Coast University, which has only been a Division I program for 2 seasons. Even though we were unfamilliar with Enfield’s body of work prior to 2 weeks ago, Pat Haden, players, and fans and alumni are pretty clear on the type of coach and person whom they are getting to form the type of basketball team they are expecting.
Andy Enfield is very recognizable now with his television exposure, gap in his front two teeth, and wife who is a former Victoria’s Secret model.
Steve Alford is a faceless name in the history of college basketball. When Steve Alford walks up to the podium to begin his introductory press conference at UCLA Tuesday at noon on the Pac 12 network, the first question likely to get posed to him is “When is Steve Alford going to come out?” Which is exactly what Pat Haden was counting on.
Andy Enfield ran an uptempo offense that went up and down the floor. Despite being extreme underdogs against #2 seeded Georgetown, #7 San Diego State, and #3 Florida, they came out firing on all cylinders, and were not intimidated by the situation. With highlight dunks, Enfield’s team became known as dunk city. Now dunk city is headed to the home of Lob City.
But in comparison to Enfield’s obvious strengths and styles after 2 weeks of watching him play, there is a lot of questions surrounding Steve Alford. Sports Illustrated‘s Stewart Mandel makes the comparison pretty clear when he Tweeted
It seems USC hired the type of up-tempo coach Dan Guerrero thinks he hired at UCLA.
— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) April 2, 2013
An exciting brand of basketball is what UCLA wanted, combined with an exciting coach to attract high profile recruits. I suppose the second component was less important because Ben Howland managed that part, but was unsuccessful at playing exciting basketball or succeeding at the level UCLA wanted recently.
It was 5 days since Florida Gulf Coast nearly upset Florida. Whether out of respect to Florida Gulf Coast, or because the Trojans made every intention to upstage the introduction of Steve Alford–regardless the effect of the timing of Pat Haden’s hire was certainly the latter.
Pat Haden was not just swayed on the success of Enfield’s last 2 weeks to make this hire, but his whole body of work. Enfield is reportedly worth millions after various investments and business ventures before coaching full time. He’s been successful everywhere he went. Pat Haden was quoted saying that
As long as USC can avoid the sanctions of the NCAA they appear to be in much better shape.
LA Sports Hubsters, Do you like the hire of Andy Enfield? Steve Alford?