Coastal Carolina University may have seemed like it picked a name out of left field when it introduced coaching newcomer Joe Moglia its head football coach on Tuesday, but it turns out the school didn’t have to look very far at all.
Moglia purchased a home in Pawleys Island more than one year before he was named CCU’s coach. Coincidentally, CCU president Dr. David DeCenzo lives just down the road, less than 2 miles away.
As the Church Lady used to say, “Well isn’t that convenient?”
In the press conference announcing the surprise “reassignment” of David Bennett, DeCenzo and athletics director Hunter Yurachek said the search would go out to find the best candidate available to lead the Chanticleers into the future.
But was this a done deal all along? And if so, were the charges of apathy within the football program trumped up against Bennett to make way for the billionaire coach?
They are questions worth asking given the fact that Moglia and DeCenzo are close enough neighbors to have the same mailman. And since DeCenzo didn’t take questions after Tuesday’s introductory press conference leaves those suspicions up in the air.
How long have they known one another? Georgetown County property records show Moglia purchased a $2.9 million home in the Prince George section of Pawleys Island on Nov. 4, 2010 – five days after the Chants defeated Gardner-Webb in overtime to improve to 3-5 on the season.
Of course, Coastal went on to win out and claim the Big South Conference championship and automatic bid to the FCS playoffs. Makes you wonder if Moglia was coming in to replace Bennett last season, when many were calling for the coach’s firing before the strong finish.
Or was it all a coincidence and Moglia just happened to buy a vacation home or investment property in Pawleys Island, 1.5 miles from DeCenzo’s home in Willbrook Plantation. Did they run into each other at the grocery store or play golf together?
It’s difficult to believe that the first contact between the two was during the interview process, which is not uncommon in hiring a new coach. But if this was a done deal from the start, or if the administration was secretly rooting for Bennett to fail so it could pull the trigger, it’s wrong.
If so, CCU didn’t get exactly what it was hoping for. Bennett’s 7-4 record in 2011 and 63-39 mark with four conference titles made it difficult to justify his removal, but fans were sold the idea that Coastal deserves greatness, not pretty goodness, for the investment the school is making.
That may well be the case, but fans also deserve an honest answer about how this all transpired. Exactly how close were DeCenzo and Moglia before the subject of coaching the Chanticleers came up, and was this the gameplan all along?
It’s OK, although a bit shady toward Bennett and his supporters, if DeCenzo believed he had a hand-picked successor for Bennett and he felt now was the time to make a change, but own up to it. Say you have a good friend you believe in and want him to run the program.
Until those questions are cleared up, fans have every right to be suspicious of this move and will have a hard time getting behind the new guy if they think Bennett was stabbed in the back to bring in a buddy through the back door.
You don’t have to be the Church Lady to be judgmental about this move.