The XX Factor

A Cinderella Story: The Florida Gulf Coast Coach and His Bikini-Model Wife

Amanda Marcum, a schlub’s fantasy realized

Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Florida Gulf Coast University is living the dream this March—an unknown school marauding through the NCAA tournament, one tomahawk dunk at a time. And FGCU coach Andy Enfield is living another, allegedly just-as-unlikely dream: He’s married to a model.

Enfield met Amanda Marcum in 2003 when the professional pretty lady, who’s been featured in Elle, Vogue, and Maxim (cover line: “Hot, Wet, and Beee-Yoo-Tiful!”), wanted a ride to the NCAA tournament. Shortly thereafter, the pair went on a date that featured an NIT basketball game and food from Taco Bell. Their ardor fueled by colon-busting fast food and off-brand postseason hoops, the couple got hitched a short while later. Enfield eventually earned the head coaching gig at Florida Gulf Coast. Marcum gave up her modeling career, had three kids, and settled into the life of a coach’s wife.

The TBS broadcast crew sketched the outlines of this tale during FGCU’s game against Georgetown on Friday, throwing in the detail that Enfield proposed to his beloved by wedging an engagement ring between two Krispy Kreme doughnuts.

The ex-model’s appreciation of basketball and sugary desserts, as well as the marriage’s lopsided ratio of female-to-male attractiveness, has been the source of much amazement in articles, blog posts, and lightly captioned bikini slideshows. “Another upset: Florida Gulf Coast coach landed supermodel as his wife,” wrote Yahoo Sports. “Is Andy Enfield the luckiest NCAA basketball coach ever?” asked the Huffington Post.

Based on these stories, it would seem that Enfield snagged his wife by beating her over the head with a seven-layer burrito, then dragging her back to his man cave. Compare that sentiment to the one expressed in Brent Musburger’s on-air mating call to Katherine Webb, college sports’ other recent crowd-shot bombshell.* When ESPN’s cameras focused on the girlfriend of Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron, Musburger delivered a pair of messages: (1) Ow-ooooooga! (2) “Wow, I’m telling you, you quarterbacks get all the good-looking women.* What a beautiful woman. Whoa! So if you’re a youngster in Alabama, start getting the football out and throw it around the backyard with pop.”

In other words, A.J. McCarron, football hero, is not like us. He throws touchdown passes, and beautiful women throw themselves at him. But Andy Enfield is just a regular dude. He is not conventionally handsome. He enjoys doughnuts. He gets paid to watch other people dunk. He is, essentially, fit for the starring role in According to Andy, a critically reviled sitcom in which the protagonist’s wife is alarmingly more fetching than her husband.

Enfield does have a couple of things going for him. He was a college basketball star (albeit at Johns Hopkins) and a successful entrepreneur. Judging by the interviews he’s done during FGCU’s Cinderella run, he’s also a funny guy with a winning personality. Amanda Marcum probably could’ve done worse, though it might’ve been nice for her to find a fellow who doesn’t make recruiting calls immediately before and after the birth of his child.

Sports fans, though, are more inclined to ogle the unattainable woman than to empathize with her. Like bad sitcoms, the NCAA tournament is about male wish fulfillment. Andy Enfield’s wife is a catch, and the man who caught her clearly pulled off “his best recruiting job—by far.” It’s a Cinderella story, a No. 15 seed shocking all the favorites in the tournament of assortative mating. It’s March Madness. Anything can happen.

Read more from Slate’s coverage of the NCAA tournament.

Correction, March 27, 2013: This post originally misspelled the last name of Brent Musburger.