Coach Andy Enfield can thank a Penn loss for meeting his now supermodel wife. (Woody Marshall/AP)
Florida Gulf Coast head coach Andy Enfield and I go way back. Well, he doesn't really know me, but I was a freshman at Johns Hopkins (before I transferred to Penn) when Enfield was a senior there.
Enfield remains one of the best pure shooters I have ever seen. He still retains the all-time Division III career record for free throw percentage (431-466, for 92.5 percent). I went to every Johns Hopkins home game that season, and I don't recall him ever missing a free throw. Frankly, I'm not sure I recall him ever hitting the rim on a free throw.
Anyway, post graduation, Enfield made a name for himself as a shooting coach, a basketball assistant and a businessman. He landed the job at nascent FGCU a couple years ago and, after losing in the Atlantic Sun title game last year, has led the Eagles to the NCAA tournament for the first time as a Division I program. All in all, a great run.
Pre-tournament buzz this week, though, is building about Enfield's better half, Amanda Marcum Enfield, a model with a very impressive portfolio. According to this 2012 feature, the Oklahoma native has been featured on the covers of Elle, Maxim and Vogue magazines and also in ads for Victoria's Secret, Liz Claiborne and Armani.
Her Oklahoma roots help explain how she met Enfield and the title of this post. According to that story, a friend introduced Enfield to Amanda when she was looking for a ride from New York City to Boston to catch the Cowboys' second-round NCAA tournament game in 2003. Enfield obliged (no kidding, like that was a decision?), the two hit it off on the trip, started dating soon after that, and were engaged six months later.
The trip, and assumedly Enfield's marriage, wouldn't have happened had Oklahoma State not pushed past my Penn Quakers in the first round two days earlier. The Cowboys had all sorts of problems with Penn star Ugonna Onyekwe, who poured in a game-high 30 points, but point guard Victor Williams had 29 and the Cowboys used a late 10-0 run to win.
The little-known X-factor in that game, though, was then Penn sophomore Tim Begley (who actually became a fairly accomplished poker player) going down with an ankle injury with just under eight minutes left. Begley was a crucial glue guy on that Penn team, and his absence was a big factor. Oklahoma State led 67-63 with three minutes left before reeling off the last 10 points of the game to win by 14.
If Begley wasn't hurt, maybe the Quakers pull it out. And if they do, Enfield likely isn't married to a supermodel. Or at least this one. Who says there's no such thing as luck?
(h/t @DFeldman53 for the idea)