April 15, 2024

SMU hires Andy Enfield: USC coach leaves Trojans after 11 seasons to lead Mustangs into ACC era

USC coach Andy Enfield has left the Trojans to take the same job at SMU, the school announced on Monday. 

The move has been expected for days; rumors of Enfield’s departure surfaced more than a week ago.

Representatives for Enfield, SMU and USC bargained in contract talks for a week, sources told CBS Sports. USC was unwilling to budge on the price of Enfield’s buyout, which dropped from $5 million to $2 million on April 1, per a source. SMU has been searching for a new coach after controversially firing Rob Lanier in mid-March after only two seasons with the Mustangs. Lanier took the school to the NIT this season with a 20-13 record and doubled the program’s win total from the year before.

“I am so excited to join the SMU family,” Enfield said in a statement. “It is an incredible time for the university as we enter the ACC. The investments SMU has made in athletics, the support and alignment from leadership – President Turner, Rick Hart, David Miller and others – as well as the passion of the SMU fan base and community made this an incredibly attractive opportunity. We will make Mustang fans and the city of Dallas proud and cannot wait to get started.”

Enfield moves from the Pac-12 to the ACC (SMU is officially joining the conference on July 1) after spending the past 11 seasons in Los Angeles. He took the Trojans to the NCAA Tournament five times, including most recently in 2023. His 2021 team made the Elite Eight — the lone year the Trojans reached the second weekend of the tournament. USC never won a Pac-12 title under Enfield but did finish top-three in the league in four of the past five years. His record at the school was 219-146. He got the job in 2013 after coaching 15th-seeded Florida Gulf Coast to a magical Sweet 16 run.

He also brought in big-name talent. While Bronny James was the most well-known Trojan recruit, Enfield coached six NBA picks in 11 years, including top-10 draftees Onyeka Okongwu (No. 6 in 2020) and Evan Mobley (No. 3 in 2021).

“We are excited to announce Andy Enfield as Head Men’s Basketball Coach at SMU,” SMU athletic director Rick Hart said. “Coach Enfield is enthusiastic about joining the Mustang family and the ACC. He has a strong track record of building winning teams on the court and in the classroom and pursuing championships with integrity. We believe he is a game changer for SMU Men’s Basketball.”

The SMU job is a peculiar fit in the restructured, 18-team ACC. Its Texas location is far-flung from fellow ACC incomers Cal and Stanford on the West Coast and still isolated from most other conference mainstays in the East. Sources said SMU boosters — most notably David Miller, the chair of SMU’s Board of Trustees — have rallied millions in men’s basketball support to push the program into its new ACC phase. The school is believed to be stockpiled for basketball staffing and NIL assets in the years ahead. This comes after SMU boosters reportedly fundraised more than $100 million in 2023 to clear entry into the ACC.

In light of Enfield’s departure, potentially targets for USC could include the likes of Arkansas‘ Eric Musselman, Texas A&M‘s Buzz Williams, TCU’s Jamie Dixon, Kansas State’s Jerome Tang, Colorado State‘s Niko Medved and BYU‘s Mark Pope.