Monday was Sun Belt Media Day in New Orleans. It was a time for the league's members to gather in the Superdome and, for the most part, give cliche answered to the same questions they get every season. Everyone is a good, solid teams with playmakers, everyone can beat everyone and everyone likes the competitiveness and culture of their team.
This year was a little different in that future Sun Belt Football members Coastal Carolina was invited to the party. That meant Joe Moglia, the Chanticleers' head coach, got to meet the Sun Belt media.
Moglia, the former CEO of TD Ameritrade and Wall Street giant, is now 41-13 as head coach of CCU in four seasons, leading the Chants to occasional #1 poll rankings in FCS and playoff appearances in every season. Any questions about the football (re)learning curve have been answered.
And he's unlike anything the Sun Belt has ever seen before. Here's the full presser. The presser itself is only about 15 minutes and the video below plays it twice for some reason, so don't hold back because of the video length.
Before we get going, I just want to point how the transition Coastal has gone to Moglia from the previous (and original) head coach at Coastal, David Bennett.
It's like CCU went from Blue Collar Comedy Tour to Open Mic on Wall Street.
In NOLA, Moglia all starts out with a statement to the media that turned out to be one of the truest things spoken of the entire day.
"For me, I'm pretty much an open book, so whatever you'd like to ask questions on......there isn't anything out of bounds, I'll answer em."
Oh boy did he. Let's go over Moglia's day.
I'm not a New York linguistic expert so I don't know what borough he's from, but the accent is unmistakably "Yankee" and will be as such for the Sun Belt Media. On a day where you hear a lot of southern drawl, hearing a fast-talking Yankee is quite the culture shock. It's even more head-spinning when Moglia's giving his stump speech about his past, talking about leading (then) Ameritrade during the financial crisis of 2008 and coming out shining.
Moglia's Not A Big Football Fan
"You might be surprised at this, I'm not a big football fan. I don't care who's playing quarterback where, I don't go home and watch football, I do enough football. I know what our guys are doing, I know what our competition are doing....I'm not a 'fan' of the game per se."
It's easy to overplay that quote and make it seem like Moglia's just an ex-CEO doing this on a whim, but it's still something to hear a soon-to-be FBS Football Head Coach say that. You'll hear coaches talk about football in reverence like it's the solution to all life's problems, then you have Moglia who fully knows football's role in society as a game and entertainment. He also talks about the virtues of changing the lives of 18-22 year-olds and helping their transition from boys to men and how stimulating and rewarding it is.
So you're likely not going to find Moglia up late at night watching a late Pac-12 game going into overtime.
It's Football, Not Nuclear Physics, Just Football
"It's still football, they spend more time on schemes, but then they don't do as good a job on fundamentals.....Some coaches act like football's like nuclear physics. It's not nuclear physics, it football."
Moglia's line of thinking here is about how some coaches micro-manage football to an unneeded extreme. We hear the stories of coaches spending every waking hour possible in the office going over film, personnel and practices and how it consumes their life. I think it's safe to say Moglia believes in working hard when you're working but then to have a life outside of the sport.
Yahoo Perhaps Undersold Themselves To Verizon
Go to 11:18 in the video to see Moglia's quick answer about Verizon purchasing Yahoo for $4.8 Billion. While Moglia only saw the news in passing, he's not one to shy away from giving a soundbyte.
Moglia Doesn't Have Any Rules
"Out mission is to put a team on the field Coastal's gonna be proud of. We don't talk about championships, we don't talk about playoffs, put a team on the field Coastal's gonna be proud of...........We're the only program in the nation with zero rules, but one standard. We ask our guys and our coaches, and this is the way we recruit; stand on your own two feet and take responsibility for yourself, you treat others with dignity and respect, and you live with the consequences of your actions. "
Not talking about playoffs and championships makes sense in a season where Coastal'a post-season ineligible in the FCS, but it seems like Moglia was doing this back before then. Stark contrast to coaches who make everything the team does about winning a conference championship and/or going to a bowl game.
"90% of those kids (recruits) have a subconscious sense of entitlement"
Another stark contrast from other coaches is how Moglia openly talks about how recruits think of themselves. You can probably hear a collective subconscious "Amen" from around the country hearing or reading that quote, but you don't hear coaches talk openly about the faults of kids. Those kids could help decide if your team scores more points than the other team and brings winning, so many coaches walk on eggshells when talking about recruits. Not Moglia.
Another point was that Moglia offers what CCU has and if the 17-18 year-old doesn't want to go there, then it's not meant to be and no use worrying about it and you move on.