CCU football sees little ‘return on investment’ after one year

It’s been nearly one year since the saga of Coastal Carolina’s quest to get its “return on investment” from its football program began.

Although the firing of its only head coach, David Bennett, and hiring of a rookie college head coach, millionaire businessman Joe Moglia, was still two months away at this time last year, the wheels started on Oct. 15, 2011. Here’s an annual report on where the program stands on the football field and business ledger:

Nothing seemed amiss as the 4-1 Chanticleers traveled to Liberty for a key Big South showdown. Then the game kicked off. The much-anticipated matchup turned into a blood bath, with the Flames jumping out to a 42-0 lead in the first half. The 63-27 final score did little to put a positive spin on a disastrous performance.

Then came the game that likely cost Bennett his job – a 26-24 upset loss to Gardner-Webb. Coastal returned a kickoff for a go-ahead touchdown with less than 2 minutes remaining. But an excessive celebration penalty and two personal fouls allowed Gardner-Webb to take three knees and kick the winning field goal as time expired.

And to cap the hat trick of horror, Coastal made the long trip to Stony Brook for a game that was played in unimaginable conditions – sleet, wind and cold. The Chanticleers got pushed around like traffic cones, some suffering from frostbite and others from a bad case of the quits as Bennett’s fate was officially sealed.

“By the end of October, I had made the decision that I was going to replace the football coach,” CCU President David DeCenzo said in a statement following the public release of his office e-mailed. “I knew that there was a ‘Joe Moglia’ who was a football coach for the Omaha Nighthawks, and I heard that he had recently purchased a home in Pawleys Island. Nov. 14 was the first time that I reached out to Joe Moglia. We then made contact by telephone, and he and I set up a time to meet, around Thanksgiving.”

Remember Thanksgiving, when the Chants had put a bow on a respectable 7-4 season and Bennett and his staff were hitting the recruiting trail in hopes of a stronger 2012? Meanwhile, back at home, DeCenzo was plotting the infamous “return on investment” press conference in which he pretended to launch a nationwide search for CCU’s next head coach.

Enter Moglia and his introduction just 10 days after Bennett’s dismissal, which left many Coastal fans scratching their heads and some cancelling their season tickets. How could Coastal can the man who built the school’s football program from scratch, compiled a 63-39 record and won three Big South titles for an unproven outsider?

Most people’s beef wasn’t with Moglia, although many wondered whether he would have been given the same consideration without all those zeroes in his bankbook. It had more to do with Bennett, who endeared himself to the community during his tenure, and DeCenzo, who appeared to sell out his coach to the highest bidder.

Moglia would instead be judged solely on his record, the same way most coaches are eventually judged. His efforts to improve the team’s academic standing is admirable but eventually irrelevant in college football, especially those wanting to be a championship contender. Ultimately, it’s wins and losses that will decide his fate.

While half a season may be too early to make a call, Moglia is the not-so-proud owner of the longest losing streak in school history at four games. Of course, Coastal has never seen a stretch of games like Coastal just went through – at Furman, vs. Eastern Kentucky, at Toledo, at Appalachian State and vs. Stony Brook.

Bennett’s teams faced tougher competition, including FBS schools like Clemson, Georgia, Penn State and West Virginia, but they were usually closely followed or preceeded by an automatic win against a D-II program. Still, he didn’t lose more than two in a row until his fifth season and had a winning record against ranked teams in his first three years, including No. 1 James Madison.

After beating NC A&T in the opener, the Chants needed three overtimes to beat Furman, otherwise Coastal would be in the midst of a five-game losing skid and fans might not be so forgiving. But there seems to be a general attitude to give Moglia a chance for a couple of years to see if he can bring some Wall Street magic to Chanticleer Avenue.

Yes, he has implemented a new system, which takes time and talent to do in a year. But he’s also done it with Bennett’s holdover players – record-setting quarterback Aramis Hillary, Matt Hazel, DeMario Bennett, Andrae Jacobs, David Duran, Jeremy Height, Niccolo Mastromatteo. They make up large portion of Coastal’s offense and defense this season, so it remains to be seen if Moglia’s recruiting efforts are up to snuff.

Although it’s been a year since the drama began unfolding, it’s still going to be a while before we can fairly judge Moglia and his staff on the job they do. But as for a return on investment, the first fiscal year has seen CCU pay almost $1 million to buy out Bennett, earned little in the way of guarantee games and seen very small increase in attendance, if any.

So far, at least, Moglia and his millions have not turned the balance sheet in terms of wins or revenue. At best, it’s business as usual.

Comments

comments

Gamecocks bounce back, blow out UTEP in Conway

Gamecocks bounce back, blow out UTEP in ConwaySouth Carolina's debut in the Puerto Rico Classic at the [more]

Coastal shuts out Mercer, advances to face Clemson

Coastal shuts out Mercer, advances to face ClemsonFrantzdy Pierrot teamed up with Martin Melchor to give the [more]

Beach Ball Classic lineup has big names, top teams

Beach Ball Classic lineup has big names, top teamsThe 2017 Beach Ball Classic announced its schedule for the [more]

Redbirds top Gamecocks in opener of PR Tip-Off

Redbirds top Gamecocks in opener of PR Tip-OffThe South Carolina men's basketball team has home court of [more]

Chants go west in quest for first Sun Belt victory

Chants go west in quest for first Sun Belt victoryThe Coastal Carolina football team (1-9, 0-6 Sun Belt) will [more]

CCU men, women suffer narrow six-point losses

CCU men, women suffer narrow six-point lossesJaylen Shaw scored 17 points, but it was not enough [more]

CCU nets honors, enters SBC tourney as top seed

CCU nets honors, enters SBC tourney as top seedThe Sun Belt Conference announced its final weekly volleyball awards [more]

Chants win Sun Belt title, face Mercer in NCAA tilt

Chants win Sun Belt title, face Mercer in NCAA tiltCoastal Carolina men's soccer team gathered in the athletics field [more]

Golf: SJ's White inks deal; CF's Spencer closes strong

Golf: SJ's White inks deal; CF's Spencer closes strongSt. James High golfer Jordan White made her first hole-in-one [more]

Gamecocks invade Strand to compete in PR Tip-Off

Gamecocks invade Strand to compete in PR Tip-OffFresh off its first Final Four appearance, South Carolina travels [more]

Riptides Racing swimmers dive in for rare double dip

Riptides Racing swimmers dive in for rare double dipRiptides Racing team had a busy weekend with two squads [more]

Youth Soccer: BUFC, Coast claim four championships

Youth Soccer: BUFC, Coast claim four championshipsSixteen Coast  FA teams entered the Adidas Clash in Greensboro, [more]

CCU volleyball captures Sun Belt title, No. 1 seed

CCU volleyball captures Sun Belt title, No. 1 seedThe Coastal Carolina volleyball team clinched the number one overall [more]

CCU suffers ninth straight defeat to big-play Trojans

CCU suffers ninth straight defeat to big-play TrojansMarcus Jones returned the opening kickoff 91 yards for a [more]

Late goal lifts Chanticleers into Sun Belt tourney final

Late goal lifts Chanticleers into Sun Belt tourney finalFrandzty Pierrott scored the winning goal in the 82nd minute [more]

NMB holds off Crestwood, goes to Lower State semis

NMB holds off Crestwood, goes to Lower State semisThe North Myrtle Beach High had to battle to keep [more]

Seahawks stunned on final play by Lower Richland

Seahawks stunned on final play by Lower RichlandShocking! That's the only word to describe Myrtle Beach's heartbreaking [more]

Class 5A: Tigers, Panthers defeated in second round

Class 5A: Tigers, Panthers defeated in second roundThis looked like it could be the year for Conway [more]

CCU men, women open seasons with big victories

CCU men, women open seasons with big victoriesCoastal Carolina University started the 2017-18 season in strong fashion [more]

Local trio of girls golfers playing in North-South

Local trio of girls golfers playing in North-SouthA trio of Horry County senior golfers are closing out [more]

Playoff Previews & Picks: Catch fire when it counts

Playoff Previews & Picks: Catch fire when it countsIt's not how you start, but how you finish. That [more]

CCU baseball announces 'ambitious' 2018 schedule

CCU baseball announces 'ambitious' 2018 scheduleHome games versus eight 2017 NCAA Regional teams and facing [more]

Carolina Forest, St. James top local list of signees

Carolina Forest, St. James top local list of signeesCarolina Forest and St. James had four student-athletes sign college [more]

Pierrot leads seven Chants on All-Sun Belt honor roll

Pierrot leads seven Chants on All-Sun Belt honor rollThe Sun Belt Conference has released its 2017 All-Sun Belt [more]

Photo Gallery: Seahawks soar to Class 4A state title

Photo Gallery: Seahawks soar to Class 4A state titleThe third time was the charm for the Myrtle Beach [more]

Gamecocks bounce back, blow out UTEP in Conway

Gamecocks bounce back, blow out UTEP in ConwaySouth Carolina's debut in the Puerto Rico Classic at the [more]

Coastal shuts out Mercer, advances to face Clemson

Coastal shuts out Mercer, advances to face ClemsonFrantzdy Pierrot teamed up with Martin Melchor to give the [more]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2017 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach