Jeff Kolpack, Published March 25 2013
Former Fargo TV personality now doing play-by-play for Florida Gulf CoastFARGO – David Moulton left the Fargo television scene in 1999. In 2001, he broadcast the first basketball game of a little-known school called Florida Gulf Coast University.
It sounded like the equivalent of Minnesota State Community and Technology College starting a team. Or Rasmussen College in Fargo.
Thanks to an improbable run in the NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament, the campus in Fort Myers, Fla., is a national story – even if the school is still getting mispronounced more often than not.
Moulton has been the play-by-play announcer for the Eagles since their inaugural game and it’s reaching historic proportions. FGCU became the first No. 15 seed to reach the Sweet 16 over the weekend at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
“I’ve been lucky enough to cover a lot of great things,” Moulton said. “There’s nothing like those 72 hours in Philadelphia. Nothing. Absolutely nothing.”
Moulton started as the KXJB-TV Fargo weekend sports anchor in 1994. He currently writes three columns a week for the Naples Daily News newspaper and is co-host of a four-hour afternoon show for Southwest Florida ESPN radio.
He broadcasted Florida Gulf Coast’s last game as an NCAA Division II school – which ironically came against North Dakota State in the 2005 National Independent Tournament. NDSU won 74-70 in overtime with essentially a team that reached the 2009 NCAA tournament in its first year as a Division I-eligible school.
Florida Gulf Coast became Division I eligible just two years ago.
NDSU lost to Kansas in its first-round game, with the Jayhawks getting outstanding games from point guard Sherron Collins and center Cole Aldrich. Therein could be the difference in the Eagles’ run compared to NDSU’s chances of advancing: Moulton said FGCU has yet to run into a beefy center like Aldrich.
“I followed how NDSU was handling the four-year waiting period, how they stockpiled guys and geared up for that first year being eligible,” Moulton said. “And so we didn’t quite have the ducks in a row the way NDSU did.”
So the Eagles replaced their head coach with Andy Enfield last season. He recruited players with length and athleticism who perhaps weren’t polished in other areas for the major programs.
“The biggest difference I see is everybody teaches defense, everybody focuses on defense,” Moulton said. “It seems in college basketball nobody teaches offense. They are very good at teaching offense.”
And that may continue. Moulton says it may take more than people think to get Enfield out of Fort Myers. It probably won’t be a financial decision; Enfield reportedly made millions in a software company before being a head basketball coach.
“I think he wants to build the next Butler,” Moulton said. “The next Gonzaga. I don’t think he’ll take a job just to take a job. Let me tell you: What they’ve got sitting out this year and what they have coming in. They’ll be really good next year.”
Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be reached at (701) 241-5546.
Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia