Andy Enfield: Eric Mobley Is A Great Coach; Hiring Him Is Not Unethical

Mobley, who has never coached in college, is the father of two five-star recruits

Tiki and Tierney
March 29, 2018 - 7:25 pm

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Andy Enfield has hired Eric Mobley to join his staff at USC. Why is this significant? Well, for two reasons.

One, Mobley has coached AAU for the last 11 years, and two, he is the father of two five-star recruits, Isaiah and Evan, who will graduate high school in 2019 and 2020, respectively.

So, why exactly did Enfield and USC hire Mobley?

“Eric Mobley is a terrific family man and a terrific basketball coach,” Enfield said on Tiki and Tierney. “He’s just turned 50 years old. He’s had great world experience from playing at the University of Portland to playing overseas. I can’t discuss (his sons) because they’re still recruits. But while in the recruiting process, to get to know Eric and his family and to watch him for two years and how he interacted with players, his own sons, as well as the AAU and high school level, to watch him and how he taught and how he interacted with people, that drew me to him. He’s just a terrific person, and that’s what we want at USC.”

Mobley has never coached in college basketball. 

“Sure, there’s a learning curve for all coaches, especially someone that had not coached or has not coached at the collegiate level,” Enfield said. “But coming to our staff, we feel we can help (him) get up to speed. He brings some attributes, especially working with big men on our team, that we don’t have. He’s going to be a great addition because of his personality and his expertise.”

Tiki Barber wondered how USC athletic director Lynn Swann felt about this hire.

“He’s a Hall of Famer,” Enfield said. “He understands the value of stability. He understands the value of bringing good people into your organization. So Eric Mobley is one of those people that will help our program. At the end of the day, the head coach is responsible for your program and he’s giving me the leeway – and (associate AD) Steve (Lopes) as well – to run our program the best way we can.”

Brandon Tierney, though, feels cyncial about this. While it’s not illegal to hire the fathers of recruits, it does seem shady, if not unethical.

Tierney asked Enfield to tell him why he’s wrong.

“I think we’re hiring Eric Mobley for the long-term,” Enfield said. “We believe in him as a person and what he can provide and to help our program. Opportunities are given to everybody in life. There’s a lot of different ways to get to where you go in life.”

Barber, for example, did not study broadcasting in college, but he became a broadcaster thanks to his All-Pro NFL career.

“You were given this opportunity to get where you are based on your background,” Enfield said, “and we’re providing an opportunity for Eric and any other coaches that we hire. I was given that opportunity as well. I had never been a college coach when Leonard Hamilton hired me at Florida State, and I’m very appreciative that he gave me that opportunity. You can take a look in this convention center and there’s stories around here, how people were given their opportunity, and you two are prime examples of that.”