Three of the head coaches in this years A-Sun mens basketball tournament, which opens Wednesday at Hawkins Arena on the Mercer campus, followed their fathers into their profession.
East Tennessee States Murry Bartow is the son of the late Gene Bartow, who was a college head coach for 36 years, working at six different schools. Scott Sandersons father is former Alabama head coach Wimp Sanderson, the 11-year Crimson Tide head coach who also spent five years at Arkansas-Little Rock. Florida Gulf Coast head coach Andy Enfields dad, William, was a successful high school coach in Pennsylvania for 30 years.
Gene Bartow, who passed away in January 2012, got his first job at Central Missouri and moved on from there to Valparaiso, Memphis State, Illinois, UCLA and UAB. His career highlights include a Final Four appearance with Memphis in 1971, where the Tigers lost in the championship game to UCLA, replacing the legendary John Wooden as head coach at UCLA, where he spent three season compiling a 75-9 record, and leaving the Bruins after the 1977 season to start the athletics program at UAB, where he served for 17 years as athletics director and mens basketball head coach.
Murry Bartow played for his dad in the early 1980s at UAB and was an assistant with him from 1989-96 before taking over as head coach upon Genes retirement. He stayed there until 2002 before moving on to East Tennessee State.
Winfrey Wimp Sanderson worked at Alabama for 32 years, starting out as a graduate assistant and climbing his way up through the ranks as an assistant and finally head coach of the Crimson Tide. During his 11 years in the top position (1981-92), his teams won five SEC tournament titles and played in 10 NCAA tournaments with six Sweet 16 appearances. Sanderson was known for wearing colorful plaid jackets to the Alabama games that became his trademark. He ended his coaching career at the Arkansas-Little Rock, where he stayed from 1994 until 1999.
Unlike Murry Bartow, Scott Sanderson never played or worked for his father. He lettered four seasons at South Carolina and then served as an assistant coach at Virginia, New Orleans, South Carolina and Colorado before being named head coach at Lipscomb in 1999. He is the dean of basketball coaches in the A-Sun, currently finishing up his 13th season.
William Enfield worked first as a ninth-grade coach and later as the varsity head coach at Shippensburg High School in Pennsylvania. He never won a state championship but helped develop quite a few players who went on to play collegiately.
Andy played for his father as an eighth- and ninth-grader and went on to play collegiately at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, where he still holds nine school records. He worked in the NBA with both the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks prior taking an assistants position at Florida State. He is in his second season as Florida Gulf Coast head coach.
Other coaches in this years field had fathers who worked in an array of jobs. Mercer head coach Bob Hoffmans father, Jimmy, has been a Baptist minister for more than 50 years and currently serves a church in Homer, Okla. Stetson head coach Casey Alexanders dad, Don, retired at the end of 2012 as the longtime CEO of the Tennessee Medical Association in Nashville.
John (Jack) Driscoll, the father of North Florida head coach Matt Driscoll, drove a Town Talk bread truck, delivering to local stores in Pittsburgh for 36 years. And USC Upstate head coach Eddie Paynes dad, Meredith, was in the automobile finance business in management in Charlotte.
Bobby Pope is the executive director of the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame. Contact him at email@example.com