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March 27, 2013

Basketball fans having fun with Florida Gulf Coast's run

The guys from Dunk City had quite a celebration after putting on the show of the NCAA tournament and sending fans around the nation to their iPads in search of Florida Gulf Coast University.

It was the kind of joyful exuberance you love to see in March: a dancing, yelling, water spraying celebration of youth and victory. And right in the middle of it all was their drenched coach, he with the interesting story and the golden future.

That it didn’t take long for Andy Enfield’s name to surface in connection with open jobs was hardly surprising. Enfield is the flavor of the moment in basketball, his star rising in the coaching fraternity with each of the two upsets his Eagles pulled off in their first visit to the NCAA tournament.

If he goes somewhere else, though, odds are good it won’t be just for the money. Enfield should have plenty already from his stake in a software contract management company called TractManager, which he joined between coaching careers.

Imagine, though, if UCLA came calling. How could a young and ambitious coach turn down the head job at one of the most hallowed programs in college basketball?

It may not be all that hypothetical, since the Bruins are in the market. Ben Howland was bounced after 10 years — including three straight Final Four appearances — after his Bruins were bounced from the tournament.

File this one under what have you done for me lately. Howland had overstayed his welcome at UCLA, as evidenced by how fans stayed away from newly renovated Pauley Pavilion this season despite UCLA having Shabazz Muhammad and arguably the best recruiting class in the country.

There’s another opening at Minnesota, a pretty good spot to coach even if the school doesn’t have the basketball pedigree of a UCLA. Tubby Smith set Howland’s ouster in motion by defeating him in the tournament opener for both teams, only to get canned himself after Minnesota lost its next game.

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