Amanda Marcum, Andy Enfield: Super model, FGCU basketball coach and how they've formed a family

Andy Enfield clearly has game.

While an assistant at Florida State the new Florida Gulf Coast University men's basketball coach helped sign the Seminoles' roster full of top-100 players, including two McDonald's All-Americans. He helped FSU land three top-25 classes in his five years at "the football school." Just this week, only his third on the job, Andy signed guards Brett Comer and Bernard Thompson, perhaps the best two recruits in FGCU's 10-year history.

But as Andy will quickly tell you, his best recruiting job -- by far -- was the successful courting of Amanda Marcum. As of Sunday, she's been a model wife for exactly seven years.

Actually, a super model wife. Really.

Amanda, 32, has graced runways and slick pages throughout the US, Europe and Asia, showing off designs for Chanel and Jean Paul Gaultier. She's done ads for Victoria's Secret, Liz Claiborne, Ellesse, Tommy Hilfiger, Armani, L' Oreal and, well, you name it.

The 5-foot-10, green-eyed, natural blonde cover girl, who was based out of New York, has been on the front of the likes Elle, Vogue and Maxim (including the Feb. 2002 Swimsuit Issue).

"She was hired all over the world, traveled to virtually every country you can think of," Andy said.

Yes, the tense is past, although her career may not be. Amanda, who said she may yet get back in the game, gave up full-time modeling when Andy, 41, decided to get back into coaching after starting one lucrative business (All-Net) and helping begin another (TractManager, Inc.).

Today, Amanda is the stay at home mom to daughter Aila, 5, and Lily, 3, and weeks-old son, Marcum.

"It was hard for her to give her career up," Andy said. "But she loves sports so much and wanted a family and thought this is something she could do. I give her a lot of credit. Very difficult decision on her part to give up something she worked so hard for and had been so good at.

"She wanted to do it. She wanted to give up her career to raise a family, and to be an assistant coach's wife at Florida State for a few years. I give her a lot of credit because it was very difficult for her to do that. She was so successful."

Said Amanda: "He's doing something great, and it's been a great lifestyle for us. And I love being a mother so much -- I wouldn't change it. But I have to admit, I miss palling around on the job and living in New York.

"But at the same time, if I could change it and have it back, I wouldn't do it. I'm happy with the choices I made. Andy keeps me laughing. He's a great person to depend on, and he's a great friend and great father. Takes care of his family very well. He's very entertaining and funny, but he's also very responsible."

The daughter of Keith and Carol, Amanda was born and raised in Mustang, Okla., population around 13,000. There's not much to do in the town located 15 miles southwest of Oklahoma City. In fact, the current calendar on the official Mustang website shows only one event for May: A "daily activity" on Sunday, May 29.

By all accounts always down to earth, Amanda passed much of her time four-wheeling, writing poetry, going to church and dreaming of becoming a fashion model, a vocation she began locally at 16 with some showroom and newspaper events. After graduating from high school at 18, she left home to share a Manhattan apartment with an armful of other hopefuls, and struggled, often being rejected.

Amanda stuck it out, eventually nailing a big Armani jeans campaign in Milan, Italy, and forming a lucrative career that has left her image all over the Internet.

"It was such a competitive business," Andy said. "She had no money and didn't know anyone. She followed her dream and made it."

Although she paid some serious dues, Amanda did not take herself or her craft too seriously. She told Maxim in 2006: "It's not much of a challenge being a model. Act sexy. Act sad. It's not very mentally stimulating. It's so funny when I meet people from the Midwest and they say, 'Oh, you're a model. Are you going to school for that in New York?' 'Yeah, I'm majoring in walking and plucking my eyebrows.'"

The Recruitment

Andy first met Amanda, who grew up a "huge" Oklahoma State fan, on the way to a Cowboys NCAA tournament second-round game in Boston, where Andy was an assistant with the Celtics from 1998-2000, in March 2003.

A friend of a friend brought them together. Amanda's first impression?

"I thought he looked like a great driver," said Amanda, laughing, "that would give me a free ride."

Amanda preferred her dates tall and clean cut, and the well-groomed 6-3 Andy, a former Johns Hopkins guard, fit the bill.

"And we had lots of things in common -- especially sports -- and we talked and talked about that," Amanda said. "I thought he was really funny and very confident. And I'm a sucker for sports guys, obviously.

"One of the first things I noticed about him once I got to know him that I really liked is as well-accomplished as he is, and

as great a career as he has made for himself, he's very modest about it. I found those things out about him from other people instead of him bragging. I thought that was very impressive and said a lot about his character."

Andy, of course, was struck by Amanda's beauty, but his attraction went much deeper.

"Biggest heart of anybody you'll ever meet," he said.

They soon had their first date -- to a St. John's NIT game -- and six months later, they were engaged. Amanda figured the proposal might come during a game of H-O-R-S-E, but Andy put on the full-court press, taking her to dinner at The Plaza on Manhattan's trendy Fifth Avenue

Before presenting her with the ring, Andy gave Amanda several carefully thought-out gifts.

"He did great," Amanda said. "It was a very well-planned, beautiful night."

The Commitment

Being a coach's wife never is easy. There's all that traveling, all those games, all that pressure.

When Andy and Amanda moved to Tallahassee in 2006, Aila was nine days old. Marcum was born on April 8, eight days after his dad was announced as FGCU's second-ever coach.

"I can't imagine going through what women do with pregnancies," Andy said. "Then the stress of getting a new job and having to move, and having a newborn has been overwhelming. But she's handled it a lot better than I would've."

Amanda got serious for a minute.

"I won't lie, it's definitely difficult at times because he has to stay on the road a lot," she said. "We kind of got into a rhythm with the kids, but it definitely can be difficult. But there are also times when you go to games that it's a lot of fun. I don't want to complain about it, but at times it has been a struggle. The timing with me having a baby and him getting a new job has been challenging. But we've made it work.

"I'm excited. I'm excited for him to have this new job, and I think it will be a lot of fun for all of us."

Last season, FSU made a Sweet 16 run, its first since 1993. Eight months pregnant, Amanda had to catch the action on TV.

"I told my mom a couple of times I might go into labor during some of those games ... not that that would have been such a bad thing because I was really heavy," Amanda said. "I was excited for them, but I was disappointed to miss it."

Andy shook his graying head.

"It was tough because I wanted her there, and after all the years at Florida State, she didn't get a chance to watch us succeed at the highest level," he said.

Amanda loves going all-out at games. But she's dressed her emotions down a bit since becoming a coach's wife.

"It's a little more stressful but it's still very exciting," Amanda said. "I definitely get worn-out at games. I've thought about that, being a coach's wife. I'm probably going to be a little more nervous. I think I'll be all right. I think being around him it won't be too out of control."

Because of her pregnancy and Marcum's birth, Amanda made her first trip to Southwest Florida last weekend.

"I got a taste of it," she said. "It's very nice. We're very excited."

Andy said he's waiting on Amanda before doing any serious house hunting.

"We're just trying to find the right neighborhood, the right house -- it depends on what my wife's looking for," he said.

Obviously, Andy still is playing this smart.

Connect with Dana Caldwell at www.naplesnews.com/staff/Dana_Caldwell

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