Anytime an university fires a coach cemented in their program’s history, the next hire almost always is one that creates a “splash.” No one had the faintest idea how large a splash Coastal Carolina University President David DeCenzo would make when he fired head football coach Dave Bennett, the only coach the program had ever known since their debut in 2003.
The Coastal Carolina University Chanticleers introduced new head coach Joe Moglia in December 2011. Joe has college coaching experience and his resume is untouchable in many areas – but not in football. In fact, Joe hasn’t coached in 30 years, when he was a defensive coordinate at Dartmouth from 1981-1983.
In his 30-year gap, Joe became a billionaire building business like Merrill Lynch and TD Ameritrade. He served as CEO of TD Ameritrade from 2001-2008, then retired to return to his first love – football.
Joe has a competitor’s heart though. He practically forced his way onto Wall Street. Despite having zero experience on Wall Street, no Ivy League MBA, and being 34-years-old competing against younger professionals, Joe fearlessly sells himself to everyone. Joe impresses Merrill Lynch in his interview and is given a job in the fixed-income division – where he goes on to become the most successful rookie salesman in the company’s history.
From there, Joe quickly climbed the corporate ladder before leaving to become CEO of Ameritrade in 2001. But football continued to compete for his heart. When Wall Street collapsed in 2008, Joe’s company made $800 million in profit. Anxious to finally get back to what he loves most, Joe retires from Wall Street.
Through his friendship with Tom Osborne, legendary Nebraska football coach, Joe is able to spend two seasons “floating” with the Nebraska football program as an unpaid intern. He then spent a year with the Omaha Nighthawks of the UFL.
Then the letter game from Coastal Carolina and the opportunity he’d long desired. Now in his first season, the Chanticleers are 2-2 entering Saturday’s game against Applachian State. It’s two victories more than most figured the new coach would win all year. But for Joe, it’s simply the beginning of building a program the way he successfully built businesses on Wall Street.
Joe Moglia’s story is documented in Monte Burke’s latest book, 4th & Goal: One Man’s Quest to Recapture His Dream.