The USC Trojans and Pat Haden introduced new head coach Andy Enfield this week to Los Angeles. It was a lot of buzz summed up like: USC knows how to do this right, spirit girls and Amanda Enfield. Amanda is the new Trojan’s coach model wife, but I digress.
As to the hiring of Andy Enfield,
#USC athletic director Pat Haden: “Andy’s success this season at Florida Gulf Coast was not a flash in the pan.”
— ATVN Sports (@ATVNsports) April 2, 2013
Well whether Enfield’s success in LA will last with his other successes is unknown. But it is known how improbable this agreement between Andy Enfield and Pat Haden determining the Trojans’ new head coach is. Very improbable. They have a lot of people to thank in order for them to get to this match made somewhere between Figueroa and the Gulf Coast.
Pat Haden owes Bob Cantu no small amount of thanks. Under Kevin O’Neill the Trojans weren’t dysfunctional, they were just bad. They were injured and bad. When Bob Cantu came in he brought energy to a program no one wanted to be associated with. The Trojans upset the Oregon Ducks, Arizona Wildcats, UCLA Bruins, and fought back to .500 in conference play.
No one would have wanted to come and coach the Trojans after how terribly they’d performed. But Cantu brought back that hope and energy required to play more than 30 games a year, and train in the offseason. So Enfield owes Cantu thanks as well. Cantu had done enough to warrant being the head coach for a full season. Sadly for Cantu though, his bid for the job was derailed by the two players suspended for what happened outside a bar in Spokane, and the 4 consecutive losses which accompanied it to end the season.
Andy Enfield owes the players he coached up at Florida Gulf Coast a big chunk of his new paycheck if it weren’t against the NCAA guidelines (if everyone breaks them it’s tough to keep calling them rules). They came out and performed, and made a name for themselves with Dunk City. The #15 seed was the talk of the NCAA tournament after wins against Georgetown and San Diego State. In those 2 weeks Enfield became the sexy coaching hire, and unlike Brad Stevens or Shaka Smart, bolted for Los Angeles.
Whether Enfield will be able to inject excitement into this program is yet to be seen. In Los Angeles, of course excitement means wins. But in the meantime Coach Enfield and Mr. Haden, give your former charges a big thanks, they earned it. And of course Mr. Enfield should thank Mrs. Enfield for making him look good.