Rain
45°
Rain
Hi 50° | Lo 43°

Enfield moves to bigger stage as USC hoops coach

Andy Enfield, Southern California's new men's basketball coach, speaks during a news conference in Los Angeles, Wednesday, April 3, 2013. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Andy Enfield, Southern California's new men's basketball coach, speaks during a news conference in Los Angeles, Wednesday, April 3, 2013. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Los Angeles — Andy Enfield used to drive by the Southern California campus while visiting his brother who lives in the area. He said he would think: “Wow, what a great place.”

Now he’s running the Trojans’ basketball program, a job that athletic director Pat Haden described as a “turnaround situation.”

“We think Andy can handle it,” he said.

Enfield calls it “an unbelievable dream, something that I’ve been working towards for many, many years.”

The 43-year-old coach was introduced yesterday at Galen Center, where he’ll be tasked with making men’s basketball relevant at a school dominated by its nationally renowned football program.

Enfield comes from Florida Gulf Coast, which caused a stir by becoming the first 15 seed to reach the round of 16 in the NCAA tournament. He was 41-28 in his only two seasons as a head coach at Fort Myers, Fla., school. He led the Eagles to a school-record 26 wins this season.

UNM Gives
Alford Deadline

Albuquerque, n.m. — The University of New Mexico is giving former head coach Steve Alford until the end of April to pay a $1 million buyout.

Alford announced last Saturday that he would be leaving the Lobos to take the head coaching job at UCLA.

Alford had just agreed to a new 10-year contract with New Mexico that would have been worth some $2 million a year. Under the new agreement, if Alford took another job prior to April 1, 2015, he or his new employer would owe UNM $1 million.

Gophers Hire Pitino’s Son

Minneapolis — Minnesota has picked 30-year-old up-and-comer Richard Pitino to take over for Tubby Smith.

The university announced on yesterday evening that it has reached an agreement to bring Pitino to the Golden Gophers after one season at Florida International. Athletic director Norwood Teague says full terms of the contract will be finished later in the week.

In his lone season at Florida International, Pitino led the Panthers to an 18-14 record, the school’s first winning season in 13 years. He turns 31 in September, fitting the profile of the young, up-and-comer that Teague has preferred to hire in the past.

Smith was fired last week after six seasons at Minnesota. He was hired at Texas Tech on Monday.