Florida Gulf Coast University students try to distract a Loyola Maryland player during a recent game at Alico Arena in Fort Myers. / Kinfay Moroti/news-press.com
Key dates in the construction of the FGCU men’s basketball team, which is in its second season of full Division I postseason eligibility and is headed to the NCAA tournament for the first time:
• Florida Gulf Coast University established by the Florida legislature.
• First students arrive.
• First intercollegiate athletics programs begin competition in golf and tennis.
• Dave Balza hired as men’s basketball head coach.
• 4,500-seat Alico Arena opened at FGCU.
• Men’s and women’s basketball teams begin first seasons as NAIA programs.
• FGCU accepted to the NCAA as a Division-II institution.
• FGCU begins four-year reclassification period to D-I without postseason eligibility.
• FGCU goes 39-82 in four D-I transitional seasons.
• Dave Balza removed as head coach.
• Former FSU and NBA assistant Andy Enfield named second head coach in program history.
• Enfield hires staff, including assistants Kevin Norris, Marty Richter and Michael Fly.
• FGCU approved as a non-provisional D-I program with full membership status.
• FGCU adds four freshmen for 2011-2012 season: Brett Comer, Bernard Thompson, Filip Cvjeticanin and Dante Holmes (no longer with the team).
• FGCU adds Iowa State transfer Eric McKnight, who won’t be eligible until 2012-2013 season.
• Rising seniors Ed Rolax and Kevin Cantinol, rising juniors Sherwood Brown and Eddie Murray and rising sophomores Chase Fieler, Christophe Varidel and Marcus Blake remain with program; six non-seniors depart.
• FGCU has program Division I best 15 wins and reaches A-Sun final in first postseason appearance.
• FGCU adds three freshmen for 2012-2013: DaJuan Graf, Leonard Livingston and Alex Blessig.
• FGCU adds transfers Jamail Jones (Marquette) and Nate Hicks (Georgia Tech), who won’t be eligible until 2013-2014.
• FGCU signs high school seniors Logan Hovey and Jordan Neff for 2013-2014 season.
• FGCU goes 24-10 and wins A-Sun tournament to earn NCAA tournament automatic berth.