Time for CCU football fans to put past behind them

Sunday marks the one-year anniversary of Coastal Carolina’s firing of football coach David Bennett.

And while it’s too early to tell whether the bold move to replace Bennett with TD Ameritrade CEO Joe Moglia will pay long-term dividends, the end of the 2012 season certainly gives Chanticleer fans hope.

Rewind your minds one year and remember the surprising news delivered at a hastily called press conference announcing Bennett’s dismissal and the launch of a pointless search to find his replacement. Little did we know CCU President David DeCenzo already had Moglia in his cross hairs, if not his pocket.

His introduction just a few days later also came as a shock (except for those who checked Grand Strand Sports Report the night before). Talk about a tough situation to walk into, Moglia was faced with the prospect of replacing the man who had made CCU the Cinderella start-up story of college football.

The reaction was mixed, some angered by a perceived mistreatment of Bennett, the school’s only coach who was 63-39 over nine seasons, other perplexed over the hiring of a Wall Street multi-millionaire who had not coached college football in 30 years.

The school had its work cut out for it to sell new and existing fans on the move. Moglia also had big shoes to fill in Bennett, who had endeared himself to the community during his decade on the Grand Strand. Let’s just say the situation was far from ideal; Bennett was beloved, Moglia was a stranger.

Not many minds were changed through the first half of the season. Crowds at Brooks Stadium were disappointing, to say the least, and the Chants were 2-4 after losing four straight games. They came back to win their final five games of the season to match Bennett’s regular-season record in 2011.

In reality, the biggest difference between the past two seasons were beyond Coastal’s control. Liberty upset Stony Brook and the Chants won a three-way tiebreaker to earn the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. But the details of the total-points tiebreaker show Coastal’s improvement.

While Bennett’s Chants were blown out by Liberty and Stony Brook by a combined score of 105-27, Moglia’s squad appeared to get stronger as the season progressed. They lost a tough game to Stony Brook 27-21 but blasted Liberty 36-12 to earn the postseason berth.

And that’s when the gradual improvement really started to show. Moglia led Coastal to its first FCS playoff victory 24-14 at Bethune-Cookman, then went toe-to-toe with No. 3-ranked Old Dominion for three quarters before the Monarchs pulled away for a 63-35 win.

Now the big question is whether that steady improvement continues. Yes, Moglia did it with a roster that was recruited by Bennett and how well he and his staff fill the departures with a strong recruiting class will go a long way to determining the success or failure of the Hail Mary hire.

But one can’t help be be impressed with the job Moglia, a finalist for the FCS Coach of the Year, has done in his college coaching debut. His ability to amass a quality staff and squad that carries a ton of momentum into next season is reason for encouragement for Coastal fans.

One year after the shocking coaching change, it’s time for CCU fans to put the past behind them and get behind their school. If not, you might miss another Cinderella story for the Chanticleers.

Comments

comments

BUFC nets three titles, two runners-up at James Island

BUFC nets three titles, two runners-up at James IslandThree Beach United Football Club teams captured championship trophies at [more]

Knaffle drives into bright future at South Carolina

Knaffle drives into bright future at South CarolinaSt. James High's Smith Knaffle has had plenty of time [more]

CAC swimmers capture top spots at Thanksgiving meet

CAC swimmers capture top spots at Thanksgiving meetPalmetto Aquatics (PALM) hosted the 2018 Thanksgiving Invite Meet on [more]

MB Invitational: UCF goes to varying heights for title

MB Invitational: UCF goes to varying heights for titleAubrey Dawkins put the game out of reach with his [more]

Chants drop third straight, down to last shot at bowl

Chants drop third straight, down to last shot at bowlCoastal Carolina suffered its third consecutive defeat Saturday to remain [more]

Chiefs charge past Tigers to reach Lower State semis

Chiefs charge past Tigers to reach Lower State semisMatt Reel spent a portion of the moments leading up [more]

Seahawks' hot start forces playoff rematch with NMB

Seahawks' hot start forces playoff rematch with NMBWhen Myrtle Beach traveled to Marlboro County one month ago, [more]

Panthers' playoff run hits wall against Summerville

Panthers' playoff run hits wall against SummervilleMarc Morris knew his team needed a near-perfect performance to [more]

Longtime MBHS volleyball coach Church steps down

Longtime MBHS volleyball coach Church steps downLarry Church's final match as Myrtle Beach High volleyball coach [more]

MB Invitational: Upsets set up UCF, WKU in title game

MB Invitational: Upsets set up UCF, WKU in title gameThe Knights used a stifling defense to hold St. Joseph’s [more]

MB Invitational: WVU rolls; Coastal nets invite for 2019

MB Invitational: WVU rolls; Coastal nets invite for 2019The eight schools scheduled to compete in the 2019 Myrtle [more]

Field conditions a concern for Wilson-NMB playoff tilt

Field conditions a concern for Wilson-NMB playoff tiltMatt Reel’s North Myrtle Beach football team reached the second [more]

Versatile Green means go for Seahawks' hot offense

Versatile Green means go for Seahawks' hot offenseDean Boyd knows what Jermani Green can do. Boyd, the Marlboro [more]

Local student-athletes take advantage of early signing

Local student-athletes take advantage of early signingThe early signing period opened in full force Tuesday on [more]

Green Wave surges past Chants in road-trip debut

Green Wave surges past Chants in road-trip debutZac Cuthbertson tied his career-high with 31 points, but it [more]

NMB rises to the top with Class 4A volleyball crown

NMB rises to the top with Class 4A volleyball crownAfter losing a hard-fought first set in Saturday's Class 4A [more]

Coastal will host inaugural Myrtle Beach Bowl in 2020

Coastal will host inaugural Myrtle Beach Bowl in 2020ESPN Events is adding a new bowl game to its [more]

Mohr brothers take major leap at Junior Olympic XC

Mohr brothers take major leap at Junior Olympic XCA pair of Grand Strand brothers made strong showings at [more]

National champs highlight Chants' baseball schedule

National champs highlight Chants' baseball scheduleThe Coastal Carolina baseball team and head coach Gary Gilmore [more]

Coast FA teams post solid showings in NC tourneys

Coast FA teams post solid showings in NC tourneysCoach Joel Banta’s Coast 07 Red first received high praise [more]

Chiefs charge back, claim Class 4A volleyball crown

Chiefs charge back, claim Class 4A volleyball crownThe North Myrtle Beach Chiefs went to the Class 4A [more]

Red Wolves leave Coastal one win short of bowl bid

Red Wolves leave Coastal one win short of bowl bidArkansas Red Wolves totaled 454 yards of offense on their [more]

Panthers' gamble pays off in OT win over Lexington

Panthers' gamble pays off in OT win over LexingtonMarc Morris had already showed his hand. The Carolina Forest coach [more]

Seahawks, Green ground, pound Devils in first round

Seahawks, Green ground, pound Devils in first roundIn what could have been the final home game of [more]

No. 10 NMB hits the road, runs past Thoroughbreds

No. 10 NMB hits the road, runs past ThoroughbredsThe No. 10-ranked North Myrtle Beach High football team had [more]

BUFC nets three titles, two runners-up at James Island

BUFC nets three titles, two runners-up at James IslandThree Beach United Football Club teams captured championship trophies at [more]

Knaffle drives into bright future at South Carolina

Knaffle drives into bright future at South CarolinaSt. James High's Smith Knaffle has had plenty of time [more]

One response to “Time for CCU football fans to put past behind them”

  1. Clemsonfan says:

    Terry, your article has one of the better perspectives I have seen in the media. I live in Conway but I am pretty neutral in regards to Coastal athletics. However, I knew who David Bennett was and I saw him around doing things for the community. The big issue, which people who care about Coastal can be forgiven for not putting behind them, was the way their school got rid of their coach. I do not know what happened, but I know what looks like happened. CCU fired a good coach when they had a millionaire in their pocket. Yet, they said there would be a national search and it appears the coach was already selected. You know the rest of the debacle with the emails and the rest.

    Bennett held to the values that many of the CCU supporters hold to. Moglia has not shown that he does and that rightfully frustrates some people. Moglia did not fall on his face, but he basically turned in the same season that people expected from Bennett. So what did Coastal lose but the man who built their program and shared their values?

    That is seen in the attendance this year. CCU may have gotten a good coach, but they did not figure the whole equation. Their supporters should hold them responsible.

Leave a Reply

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

© 2018 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach