Moglia far from slowing down on his 65th birthday

col-tbuzz (2)Most men dream of celebrating their 65th birthday in the traditional fashion – a pocket watch, pension and a retirement party.

Coastal Carolina football coach Joe Moglia is spending his Big 6-5 on Tuesday living out a different dream – all-night film sessions, media teleconferences and chilly afternoons on the practice field.

He’s getting his Chanticleers ready for their toughest test yet, Saturday’s FCS Tournament quarterfinal showdown at No. 1-ranked North Dakota State, on its biggest stage ever – a national audience on ESPN. At the dawn of most people’s careers, Moglia is reaching the pinnacle of his own.

It’s an unimaginable scenario for a man who was hired just a few days shy of two years ago, almost as unimaginable as his hiring itself. The Chairman and CEO of TD Ameritrade who left college football 25 years earlier to become a multi-millionaire was giving it all up to play coach at a small program.

Moglia’s hiring was the football equivalent of the Hail Mary, but now it seems more like the Miracle on Ice. After turning around a slow start to his first season, the Chants caught fire to go 8-5. One year later, Coastal is one of eight FCS teams still playing for a national championship. The Chants are getting their money’s worth in their new cold-weather gear by playing big games in Missoula, Montana and Fargo, North Dakota.

Not bad for a guy who should be shopping for fishing gear at this point in his life. If anything, Moglia has proven that the comparisons between modern-day coaches and CEOs are on the money. He has wisely surrounded himself with quality coaches and players and motivated them to achieve their goals.

The big question may be what Joe-Mo wishes for when he closes his eyes to blow out the candles today? A big-time FBS coaching job? He’s sure to get some interesting offers after what he’s done at CCU. National exposure? His story will be known by millions of fans tuning in for the first time Saturday.

Or maybe he’s looking to win a national championship and build a national powerhouse before he’s ready for the rocking chair? If so, staying at Coastal may be his best bet. If he’s taken the Chants this far this fast, just think what the coming years could bring – perhaps even a step up to the FBS level.

But those are questions for the future, and today we simply say a hearty Happy Birthday! He’s earned it.

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