Chris Brand's résumé touts his work over the past decade in sales, marketing and finance, plus his current jobs running a fitness center in Indiana and remodeling foreclosed homes on the side. But that didn't stop him from throwing his hat in the ring to be the next men's basketball coach of Florida Gulf Coast University—a position that he and many other coaching neophytes applied for this month.
Florida Gulf Coast is still months away from seeing if its student applications spike as a result of its men's basketball team's success in the NCAA tournament. Yet the college, which held its first classes in 1997 and sits an alley-oop from the beach, has already surfed a wave of interest from those looking to succeed coach Andy Enfield, who recently left for the University of Southern California.
A search to fill the vacancy lasted more than two weeks and ended Wednesday when Florida Gulf Coast athletic director Ken Kavanagh hired Joe Dooley, a University of Kansas assistant coach. Mr. Dooley had some serious competition, like former NBA coaches and players, plus up-and-coming assistant coaches from prominent basketball conferences.
But many of the coaches Mr. Dooley beat out weren't household names—or even coaches.