The food is scooped onto the plates, the punch in the cups, the wishes of Merry Christmas. The conversations turn to the family, to plans for Christmas, and then the question is asked, “So, what do you think of the situation over at Coastal Carolina University?” And the conversation that has dominated the Grand Strand since Tuesday’s hiring of Joe Moglia begins.
Sports fans overhear bits and pieces and begin to join in the conversation. Everyone wants a little more information, “What have you heard?’ “I heard he (fill in the blank)”, “Mark, tell them what we were talking about yesterday”. The negatives start flying, the questions that no one can answer begin to come out, and then after listening for a few minutes, that one person steps up and starts proclaiming the positives of the hire.
I’ve seen this scenario over and over during the last few days. It always starts negative, and then the positives begin to come out. I must say, those that are positive about the situation have very strong feelings about the hiring of Joe Moglia as the next head coach for the Coastal Carolina University football team.
Stand in a room with Robert Rabon and he’ll tell you that Joe Moglia has been successful at everything he’s tried. That he’s a businessman, a CEO and that is exactly what a coach is. He has to manage the team. “He’ll get the right assistants in there, and then let them do what they do best” says Rabon. “Just think of the contacts this man has, he’ll open more doors than a regular hire would have. This man can pick up his cell phone and call Bill Gates. How many people have Bill Gates’ cell phone number? There are risks, but the rewards can be huge”.
“It goes back to his business stuff. It’s risk, reward.” says North Myrtle Beach local and CCU Athletic Hall of Fame member Wayne White. “This is one of the biggest risks you could take, but the reward could be huge. The hiring of his Staff is going to be important. Overall, I’m looking at as a positive, coming from a business background, he knows how to run an organization and college football is an organization.” White goes on to point out “Here he is with plenty of money and could be doing anything he wants, he’s chosen to pursue his passion. If he can build a great staff around him, we know he has the organizational skills, and get everyone to buy into the same program and looking to achieve the same goals…then he’ll be successful.”
Opening doors and coaching football are two different things, but as Joe Cashion points out, “The guy knows the game…he’s got a background in football. He said it himself, he’s a football coach that went into business, and now he’s getting back to what he truly loves. At the end of the day, football 30 years ago was 11 guys vs 11 guys and today it’s still about 11 guys vs 11 guys.
“It’s about the fundamentals, it’s blocking, tackling, scoring and stopping people.” Cashion continued. “The head coach, he’s the CEO. He’s got to be able to bring in people that can build a winning organization. That’s what he did in the business world. A big piece of the puzzle is how well they get out and recruit.”
So it comes down to waiting and seeing. As Rabon put it “Doesn’t everyone deserve a chance? Let’s give him a chance, he’s succeeded at everything else he’s ever done.”
Cashion agrees “I know there are a lot of hard feelings over what has happened , I just hope that the people in the community will give him a chance to make this work.”
And give him a chance we all shall. Certainly there will be some that continue to hold grudges against the university for the change that was made, but winning cures all ills. Joe Moglia has a passion for football. The old phrase, “Do what you love, and success will follow” (or something like that) seems to apply here.
Joe Moglia has chosen to do what he loves, CCU has chosen to take a risk, and the community is starting to choose to give this man the chance he deserves. I hope you will too.