Among the most significant bold-line items to emerge in the last five days from the eclectic resume of Florida Gulf Coast University basketball coach Andy Enfield is that in 2000, Enfield was the "co-founder'' of a startup software company specializing in contract management in the health care industry, and that the company, TractManager, is valued at $100 million. In an interview Monday with Sports Illustrated, TractManager founder and CEO Tom Rizk, a 55-year-old New Jersey entrepreneur who holds Enfield in exceptionally high regard both personally and professionally, explained that both of those pieces of information are inaccurate.
Rizk said that discussions about the formation of TractManager began in the fall of 1999, and that the company was formally launched in the spring of 2000. "Andy was not involved in those early discussions,'' says Rizk. "He wasn't involved in the initial financing of the business -- that was all me. Andy decided to join TractManager in November of 2000, and was one of the very early employees of the company, probably the seventh or eighth employee. He was not a co-founder. He was involved in the early stages of building all the little building blocks of the company. He invested a modest amount of his own money. He owned a small percentage of the company and the company grew into something significant.''
Tract Manager is privately held company, so the size of that significance is uncertain. Many publications, includingSI.com, have written in recent days that TractManager was valued at $100 million, either currently or at the time of Enfield's departure in the spring of 2006, when he became an assistant basketball coach at Florida State. Rizk said Monday that the company is worth much more than $100 million. "The numbers that are quoted, frankly, are very low,'' said Rizk. "Honestly the company is much more valuable. Since 2006, TractManager has quadrupled in value. It's four times the size that it was when Andy left in 2006.'' In January, Arsenal Capital Partners, a New York private equity investment firm, bought a majority stake in TractManager, underscoring its growth. (As a part owner, Enfield would benefit financially from this growth).
Enfield spoke twice privately to SI.com during the four days of FGCU's exhilarating run through the weekend's sub-regional in Philadelphia and did not directly characterize himself as a co-founder of the company.
In a background interview last Thursday, Enfield walked through the steps of his career -- assistant coach with the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics, and then the owner of a basketball skills development company -- and added, "I also helped about four partners start a company outside basketball.'' One night later, in a private interview after FGCU's upset win over Georgetown, Enfield was asked to clarify his role in TractManager and said, "I have an equity investment. My partner, Tom Rizk, is the CEO and he's a genius. We all built it together. It was his vision to take a company and build it from the ground floor through a technology that I really didn't know anything about.''
One day later, in a formal press conference between FGCU's wins over Georgetown and San Diego State (as the Eagles became the first No. 15 seed in history to reach the Sweet 16), Enfield was asked to describe his professional career. On the issue of TractManager, he said: "I had a good friend in New York, New York/New Jersey, named Tom Rizk, who was previously a CEO of a publicly traded company that was semi-retired, and through Tom and his partnership I joined his partnership, and we created a company around a technology called TractManager, which is a contract management service in the health care industry, which I didn't know much about.''
Enfield has not confirmed any valuation figures on TractManager and Rizk said that those numbers are not publicly available.
Confusion aside, it is clear that Enfield's involvement with Rizk and TractManager represented a significant interaction in both men's lives. They were first introduced in 1997. Enfield had been part of Mike Dunleavy's coaching staff with the Milwaukee Bucks, but was jobless after Dunleavy was fired in 1996. He began consulting in player skills development and also in the summer of that year worked a camp in his hometown of Shippensburg, Pa. A close friend of Rizk's was a cardiologist in Shippensburg and he recommended that Rizk send his then-10-year-old son, Geoff, to Enfield's clinic. Rizk and Enfield met at a restaurant in Shippensburg and, according to both men, became friends.
Rizk had previously started a real estate investment trust called Cali Realty which he says he took public and grew to $4 billion at the time of his retirement in the late 1990s. Upon meeting Enfield, says Rizk, "I was extraordinarily attracted to his personality and his talent.'' Enfield subsequently worked from 1998-2000 for the Boston Celtics (Rick Pitino was the head coach) and became close friends with Rizk and his son (who, Rizk says, became an avid Celtics' fan, and is now the 25-year-old president of TractManager International). After Rizk founded TractManager, he contacted Enfield, "I wanted to get him to join the business,'' says Rizk. "We had a lengthy discussion about it before Andy joined.''
Enfield, who graduated from Johns Hopkins as an Academic All-America in basketball (he scored 2,025 points in his career), worked briefly after graduation at Arthur Anderson, but according to his mother, Barbara, a sixth-grade teacher in Shippensburg, "he hated it,'' and rushed back to basketball. Yet Rizk sold him on TractManager. Enfield started as the vice president of a very small company and, says Rizk, "he then helped build the sales effort and then when the company got bigger, went back to finance. He mentored a lot of young people in those six years and it was very cool to see the impact he could have on them.''
Now Rizk watches Enfield coach the most unlikely Sweet 16 team in the history of the NCAA tournament, a collection of talented , but unwanted players who attend classes at a 16-year-old college that's often confused with a community college several hours away. "They're achieving beyond anybody's expectation at Florida Gulf Coast, right?'' says Rizk. "I've seen Andy do this in different settings for 15 years. This didn't just happen yesterday or last week. He's a special guy.''