Florida Gulf Coast Coach Enfield, Pietramala Ran Lacrosse Camp Together
|Johns Hopkins coach Dave
Pietramala ran a lacrosse camp for six years with former Blue Jays
basketball star Andy Enfield, now the coach of America's underdog
darling, Florida Gulf Coast. The camp still exists
© John Strohsacker (DP); Johns Hopkins (AE)
Florida Gulf Coast has become America's favorite underdog and the Cinderella story of this year's NCAA men's basketball tournament. And it turns out the Eagles, coached by Johns Hopkins alum Andy Enfield, have a pretty notable lacrosse connection.
Enfield ran a lacrosse camp with current Johns Hopkins coach Dave Pietramala for six years as they embarked on coaching careers after college.
The camp Enfield and Pietramala founded in the early 1990s — All World Lacrosse Camp — still exists today in the same place they started it: Salisbury University on the eastern shore of Maryland. It is run by Enfield's and Pietramala's first employee, Ron Klausner, a former Towson All-American and now a youth coach who coaches Pietramala's kids.
Enfield, the Blue Jays' men's basketball program's all-time leading scorer, graduated from Johns Hopkins in 1991 before pursuing an MBA in finance at the University of Maryland. While trying to make ends meet, Enfield approached Pietramala, who graduated from Johns Hopkins two years earlier, about partnering up for a lacrosse camp. Enfield had also started basketball clinics.
Enfield would handle the business side. Pietramala, a two-time USILA Defenseman of the Year and 1989 Enners Award winner as the nation's top player, would take care of the lacrosse.
Pietramala wasn't one to say no. At the time the partnership started, Pietramala said he was a part-time assistant at Johns Hopkins, getting paid $3,000.
"I'd known he'd done [basketball] shooting clinics and very successful ones," Pietramala said Wednesday. "He was just really getting started. We agreed to partner up. He would run the camp in terms of all the administrative duties, registration, facilities, meals, all that kind of stuff. He'd answer all the questions. My role was to take care of the part that he was not familiar with, which was the on-field lacrosse.
"It was an enjoyable opportunity. It was nice to be able to spend time with a guy who you went to college with. We used to play a little pick-up basketball occasionally during the lunch hours. It was a nice endeavor for two young guys who were trying to break into the coaching ranks. Him, in basketball, through his clinics and shooting stuff and me trying to get my name out there and be more involved in coaching."
The partnership continued through Pietramala's stints as an assistant at Penn, Loyola and back at Johns Hopkins and only came to an end when Pietramala was hired as head coach at Cornell in 1997. Pietramala said Enfield eventually sold the camp to Klausner.
Enfield relocated to New York and continued with basketball shooting clinics and instructional work while helping to launch a health-services company. He eventually landed a job as a Florida State men's basketball assistant in 2006. He's in his second year leading Florida Gulf Coast, a school that held its first classes in 1997 and has spent less than two years at the NCAA Division I level.
After upsetting Georgetown and San Diego State in consecutive rounds of the NCAA men's basketball tournament, 15th-seeded Florida Gulf Coast plays No. 3 Florida in the Sweet 16 on Friday night in Arlington, Texas.
"It's neat to see a guy whose team reflects him," Pietramala said. "Here's a guy who went out, sold himself, took risks, was a go-getter and made people take notice because of shooting clinics and the quality of them, getting in front of people. His team reflects him. They're a group of guys that a lot of guys didn't recruit, didn't really know and they've worked hard. Now look at what they've done. They've commanded an awful lot of respect and attention."
Pietramala has stayed in contact with Enfield over the years.
"It's been mostly via text, but we've talked a couple times here and there. It's not like we're unfamiliar," Pietramala said. "We're both very busy. When he does come to Hopkins, I see him. I'm thrilled with his success. It's great to see a guy who made a name for himself and made his own way. He didn't get any hand-me-downs. He wasn't given something because he was a great college player. He had to earn his way to where he is today. It's neat to see a guy who showed a lot of initiative and took some risks, and went out and did an awful good job."
Did Enfield ever learn lacrosse?
"Andy picked up a lacrosse stick every now and again. It wasn't very pretty. I'd like to say my jump shot looked a little bit better than his lacrosse shot," Pietramala said, laughing, "although my jump shot paled in comparison to his."