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Coastal Carolina names its second-ever head coach
Coastal Carolina’s hoping Joe Moglia has as much success with the Chants’ football program as he had on Wall Street.
The team fired its only coach in program history last December, David Bennett, and replaced him with Moglia, who is best known for growing TD Ameritrade into a $10 billion venture.
Coastal Carolina University President David DeCenzo said Moglia has a proven track record on and off the football field and a passion for the game.
“He has all the ingredients that will take our football program to waters uncharted,” DeCenzo said.
Moglia spent 16 years coaching football before entering the business world, his last three as the defensive coordinator at Dartmouth from 1981-83.
He said he had the chance to join Howard Schnellenberger at Miami the next season, but was going through a divorce and wanted to stay close to his children knowing the long hours it would take to work at the high-profile program.
So Moglia joined Merrill Lynch for 17 years before joining TD Ameritrade. While the company’s CEO, he increased its market cap from $700 million to $10 billion.
Still, that didn’t register with the Coastal players, who had only one coach in David Bennett since the program began.
“A lot of us went to Google” to search Moglia’s background, said tight end David Duran. What they found was plenty of financial highlights for the man known as the “billionaire coach.”
Moglia, though, missed the game and wanted back in. He spent two seasons as executive adviser to Nebraska football coach Bo Pellini, taking no salary. Moglia also coached the Omaha Nighthawks of the United Football League.
“I’ve been fortunate with my life to pick the two things I have the skill set for and that’s coaching and business, the Wall Street world,” Moglia says.
When Moglia joined the Cornhuskers, he said he constantly challenged himself with the questions of whether he still had the desire to coach football.
“My answer to that was a resounding, ‘Yes,’” he said. “So at that point in my life, with all things I’ve done, why would I not do something that I loved and was really good doing?”
Moglia’s test starts Sept. 1 when the Chanticleers open at home against North Carolina A&T. Nebraska athletic director and former national championship coach Tom Osborne believes Moglia can succeed as a college football coach. Moglia spent his time with the Cornhuskers soaking up knowledge and breaking down film to update himself on the game.
“He understands how to put a group of people together that can accomplish great things,” Osborne said.
Moglia hasn’t totally given up his business ties. He remains chairman of TD Ameritrade’s board and has appeared on financial shows like CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”
“American business is in pretty good shape,” he says. “But the global environment, which includes the recession we’re going through, is scary.”
Right now, though, Moglia’s attention is fully vested in getting the Chants back on top in the Big South Conference. Coastal Carolina won eight conference titles from its debut season of 2003 through 2010, and Moglia’s got plenty of people returning from last year’s 7-4 season.
Tight end Duran and receiver Matt Hazel were picked for the Big South all-conference preseason team. South Carolina Gamecocks transfer Aramis Hilary will most likely lead the up-tempo, “Coastal Wave” offense at quarterback.
Hilary completed 12 of 16 passes for 106 yards at Coastal’s spring game.
Coastal Carolina loses star cornerback Josh Norman, who was a fifth-round pick of the Carolina Panthers in last April’s draft. The Chants will lean heavily on linebacker Andrae Jacobs, the Big South’s defensive player of the year in 2010.
But most eyes will be watching Moglia, who hopes he can get people to stop wondering about his net worth — “I am no way near a billionaire,” says Moglia, who’ll make a $175,000 a year at Coastal — and judge him as a football coach.
“There’s no question that I’ll be a much better head coach because of the time I spent in the business world,” he said.
By PETE IACOBELLI, Daily Reporter