He’s already the best-known coach in the Atlantic Sun Conference. Now Florida Gulf Coast officials want to make Andy Enfield the best-paid, said the school’s booster club chairman.
FGCU administrators, including President Wilson Bradshaw and Athletic Director Ken Kavanagh, met Sunday to discuss trying to double the salary of FGCU’s men’s basketball coach, athletic booster club Chairman Brian Rasnick said Monday. Enfield’s Eagles made history Sunday, becoming the first No. 15-seed to make the NCAA tournament’s Sweet 16.
In the second year of a five-year contract, Enfield earns an annual salary of $157,500. While some Atlantic Sun schools are private universities, making them exempt from salary disclosure of coaches, research by FGCU officials found a salary of roughly $300,000 would make Enfield the conference’s highest-paid men’s basketball coach, Rasnick said.
"I hope that he takes away that we really want him, we want to give him the respect he deserves, and want to try to get him to be the highest-paid coach in the Atlantic Sun," said Rasnick, chairman of the Eagles Club Advisory Board.
When asked about giving Enfield a raise, Kavanagh said he doesn’t speak about negotiations with coaches. He also said Ransnick doesn’t speak for the university.
Enfield hasn’t gone into detail about his future since the Eagles’ landmark run, which begin with an Atlantic Sun Conference tournament championship, followed by upsets of second-seeded Georgetown and seventh-seeded San Diego State in the NCAA tournament.
"I’m just so focused on what we’re doing as a team," Enfield said Monday afternoon, hours after his team arrived home from its early-morning flight from Philadelphia. "After our season, we’ll sit down and discuss options. But I have no idea if they met or what they said because we’re just watching film, getting our team ready to play."
Even at $300,000, the salary would be less than Enfield could make at an established mid-major or virtually any power conference school. And there’s a question as to whether FGCU’s athletic department could afford such a pay increase. Rasnick said donations would be needed to fund the raises for Enfield and his three assistants, whose total compensation averaged about $76,000 in 2012.
FGCU’s athletic department has seen its donations fall in recent years, from a recent peak of nearly $2 million, or 33 percent of revenues, in 2007 to about $572,000, or 5 percent of revenues, in 2012. Rasnick said there’s been significant interest in booster club membership and season ticket renewals, but men’s basketball ticket sales only accounted for roughly $152,400 in 2012.
Rasnick said he last spoke at length with Enfield on Friday, though the two didn’t discuss the 43-year-old’s contract situation. Attempts to reach Kavanagh on Monday were not successful.
Regardless of Friday’s outcome against third-seeded Florida, Enfield figures to be an attractive head coaching candidate in the offseason. He’s young, has experience as both an NBA and college assistant, holds two degrees and comes from a business background. Much has been reported about his involvement with a health care software company, once valued at $100 million, but his wealth, and the impact it has on his future, isn’t clear.
Rasnick said he hopes the gesture of doubling his salary will endear the school to Enfield. Also in FGCU’s favor: the Eagles return four of five starters next year.
"My gut is that he’s with us," Rasnick said, "and the reason I say that is because I think he knows he’s got a great recruiting class coming in next year and I think he knows this is only his second year with us."
Even with the speculation surrounding Enfield, sophomore guard Brett Comer remains confident Enfield will be back for a third season.
"I think he’s completely happy here," Comer said. "His family is in this area, he has a great time here, he loves the people here, and I’m not worried about it."