Florida Gulf Coast, the Cinderella of the NCAA Tournament, has an Oklahoma flavor

Mustang resident Keith Marcum is the father-in-law of coach Andy Enfield.
by Jenni Carlson Published: March 28, 2013

“I don't think they'd mind if you came,” Andy said. “We just meet at this little junior high.”

“Well, sure,” Keith said. “I'd love to go down there and watch.”

As they were getting out of Andy's car, a gigantic SUV rolled up beside them and an equally gigantic man got out of it.

It was Alonzo Mourning.

The veteran NBA player had come back from a kidney transplant, and for an hour, Andy put him through his paces.

“Worked him hard,” Marcum remembered.

The fact that a player of Mourning's caliber trusted Enfield spoke volumes to Marcum.

And yet, as highly as Marcum thought of his son-in-law's ability as a teacher and a coach, he has been as shocked as anyone that Florida Gulf Coast is in the Sweet 16 this year.

“I've watched them play since he took the job, and I knew that Andy had the ability to do whatever he wanted to do with them,” Marcum said. “But I didn't think it would happen this quick.”

Neither did Enfield.

Marcum said that his son-in-law told him that his goal for this season, his second at Florida Gulf Coast, was to win the conference and go to the NCAA Tournament. Winning games in the tournament? He hoped that would come next season.

The wins came a year ahead of his schedule.

The success that Florida Gulf Coast has had has made everyone a fan. Marcum has witnessed the mania firsthand. People at SPEC Building Materials where he works want to talk about the team. His golfing buddies, many of whom have hit the links with Enfield when he's visited Mustang, are buzzing. Marcum even heard from an old friend living in Oregon.

“Oh, gosh, it's crazy,” he said. “Everybody wants tickets. Everybody wants hats and shirts. Everybody's just jumped on the bandwagon.”

He paused.

“I don't blame them. I probably would, too.”

But if that Florida Gulf Coast apparel he's been wearing these past few years is any indication, he's had a seat on the bandwagon from the beginning. He'd love for the ride to continue a little longer.

“It'll be a downer if they lose,” Marcum said, “but we've been blessed with two exciting games. Maybe we'll get another one.

“I've already been surprised two games. Might as well go for three.”

Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at (405) 475-4125. Like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK, follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok or view her personality page at newsok.com/jennicarlson.

by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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