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View from the Nest: Busy week for FGCU

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DOOLEY LEAVES FOR EAST CAROLINA

Wednesday marked the end of Dooleywatch, a seemingly annual tradition with a romantic comedy style subplot of “will they, won’t they” as it relates to Joe Dooley and his continued employment at FGCU.

The former FGCU men’s basketball coach agreed to terms to take the helm at East Carolina on Wednesday, signing a five-year deal that will pay him a minimum of $900,000 per year the first four years and $1 million the final year. He earned $350,000 the past season at FGCU.

“I thank all of you for the opportunity to be your head coach and represent this terrific university. Thank you for filling Alico Arena each game night and making The Nest one of the best home-court atmospheres. FGCU will always hold a special place in our hearts,” Dooley wrote in a thank you letter to FGCU fans on Wednesday.

He was officially introduced at 11 a.m. Thursday, remarking it was “good to be home.” Dooley coached at ECU from 1995-99, where he had a 57-52 record.

FGCU SAYS IT’S TIME TO FLY

The only story that could’ve shifted the focus away from Dooley’s departure, FGCU waited barely the length of a feature film to get their replacement. Less than four hours after Dooley’s hiring was announced by ECU, FGCU announced they would announce and introduce their new coach on Thursday.

The worst kept secret in FGCU athletics – that Michael Fly was the top pick to replace Dooley – was all but confirmed the moment the release came up, but it didn’t stop Fly from beaming from ear to ear at Thursday’s introductory press conference.

In a press conference and question and answer session that lasted nearly an hour, Fly handled the room not like a first-time head coach, but like the master recruiter that was responsible for bringing the likes of Brandon Goodwin, Christian Terrell, and Zach Johnson to the Eagles.

“What I want this to become is Southwest Florida’s team,” Fly said. “I want the feelings of 2013 to be there every time that we open those doors, that you’ve got to be there and you’ve got to see it.”

“I want you to know that every time you walk in that gym, these kids are going to play their hearts out, and they’re going to have a lot of fun doing it.”

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL ENDS SEASON RANKED

The FGCU women’s basketball team won an NCAA Tournament game for the second time in school history with an 80-70 win over Missouri on March 17. Though they’d end the season with a 90-70 loss to Stanford in the second round, a 31-5 record was enough to get the attention of voters, as the Eagles ended the season ranked No. 25 in the final Coaches’ Poll.

BASEBALL KICKS OFF ASUN PLAY

FGCU baseball entered the week No. 22 in the Collegiate Baseball poll, coming off a nine-game winning streak.

The streak ended in an 8-4 loss to No. 1 Florida on Wednesday, but the Eagles rolled NJIT 9-1 on Friday to open Atlantic Sun play for the first of a three-game series.


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