Ex-Hopkins star makes mark as Seminoles hoops assistant

Enfield, one of two former Blue Jays in Div. I men's basketball coaching, helps guide Florida State into ACC's upper echelon

March 11, 2010|By Jeff Barker | jeff.barker@baltsun.com

GREENSBORO, N.C. — It's quite a short list of Johns Hopkins basketball players who have gone on to coach at Division I college basketball schools in the past 25 years.

It's such a small list, in fact, that Florida State assistant coach Andy Enfield -- a prodigious college shooter who is the only player to score more than 2,000 career points at Hopkins -- commands half of the list all by himself. Mike Blaine, a UMES assistant, is the other occupant.

"Not a lot of guys that played there went into coaching," said Enfield, who helped lead the Seminoles to 25 wins last season, tied for second-most in school history, and 22 this season. "Usually they're on Wall Street or physicians or orthopaedic surgeons -- lots of different fields."

The Seminoles, the third seed in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament, could meet second-seeded Maryland in Saturday's semifinals. Each team would need to win Friday night first.

Enfield, 40, knows Maryland well, having received a master's degree in business administration from the school after graduating from Hopkins in 1991. While at Maryland, he started a consulting business for NBA players, with former Terp Walt Williams as his first client. Williams was then playing for the Sacramento Kings.

"He had a flaw," Enfield said. "Walt really pushed hard with his off hand. His left thumb would put a lot of pressure on the basketball and therefore his rotation was not as good as it should be. I remember many days [with Williams] at Cole Field House in the back gym."

Enfield knows shooting. His career 92.5 percent free-throw percentage (431 of 466) remains one of the top marks in NCAA history. Hopkins coach Bill Nelson said the boyish-looking Enfield, who appears trim enough to still be able to play, made 54 of 55 free throws in the postseason.

"Three dribbles and a deep breath," is the way Enfield describes his pre-shot ritual at the line.

Said Nelson: "He was a once-in-a-lifetime player. His dad was a coach and they had a court in his backyard [in Shippensburg, Pa.]. "

Enfield, who had been an NBA coaching assistant, was hired by Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton in 2006. "I told him I thought we were undersized at almost every position," Enfield said. "We really focused on going out and recruiting size and length to fit [Hamilton's] defensive system."

The Seminoles lead the nation in field-goal percentage defense. Among the players recruited by Enfield and other Florida State staff members are McDonald's All-Americans Chris Singleton and Michael Snaer.

"He has a tremendous basketball IQ," Nelson said of Enfield. "I can see Andy being a head coach."

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