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.

Week 0: Chiefs top Tigers; Sharks beat Lions at horn

Week 0: Chiefs top Tigers; Sharks beat Lions at hornMatt Reel sighed more than once when talking about his [more]

Chiefs try to stay hungry, humble in title repeat bid

Chiefs try to stay hungry, humble in title repeat bidThe only thing harder than winning a state championship is [more]

Stormy weather big winner at CNB Kickoff Classic

Stormy weather big winner at CNB Kickoff ClassicTwo blowouts, a lightning delay and ultimately three of the [more]

Coast FA boys kick off fall season with strong outing

Coast FA boys kick off fall season with strong outingFive Coast FA boys teams entered the Charlotte Invitational over [more]

Hemingway follows family, teammates to Gamecocks

Hemingway follows family, teammates to GamecocksSix minutes after his youngest child had announced his college [more]

MB Track & Field Club set for cross country season

MB Track & Field Club set for cross country seasonBuilding on the success of the track and field season, [more]

Seahawks, Trojans, Chiefs in preseason football poll

Seahawks, Trojans, Chiefs in preseason football pollDefending state champion Myrtle Beach opened the 2019 preseason as [more]

Ten beach games that add fun to the sand, surf, sun

Ten beach games that add fun to the sand, surf, sunThe Grand Strand’s 60-mile strip of sand and surf is [more]

New blood infuses lineup for '19 Beach Ball Classic

New blood infuses lineup for '19 Beach Ball ClassicIt’s been quite some time since this much new blood [more]

Gray becomes first Chant to win SCGA Amateur title

Gray becomes first Chant to win SCGA Amateur titleCoastal Carolina rising sophomore Tyler Gray carded four-straight rounds of [more]

Renfrow comes full circle before making run at NFL

Renfrow comes full circle before making run at NFLThe past six months have been hectic ones for Hunter [more]

Surfoff makes waves for fun times, worthy cause

Surfoff makes waves for fun times, worthy causeThe water is a second home for August Powalie. The Myrtle [more]

Jordans go coast to coast for Junior Olympics meet

Jordans go coast to coast for Junior Olympics meetIt has been a long and winding trip to California [more]

Six former Pelicans make big-league leap to Cubs

Six former Pelicans make big-league leap to Cubs The distance from Myrtle Beach’s TicketReturn.com Stadium to Chicago’s Wrigley [more]

Local teams look ahead to 30th CNB Kickoff Classic

Local teams look ahead to 30th CNB Kickoff ClassicConway National Bank will sponsor the 30th annual CNB Kickoff [more]

CAC swimmers team up to capture six state titles

CAC swimmers team up to capture six state titlesSouth Carolina Swimming welcomed almost 800 swimmers from 25 Swim [more]

Surfers hang 10 for 20th Guy Daniels Memorial

Surfers hang 10 for 20th Guy Daniels MemorialAs surfers prepare to hit the South Strand this weekend [more]

Six MBTFC athletes make National Junior Olympics

Six MBTFC athletes make National Junior OlympicsThe Myrtle Beach Track & Field Club was represented by [more]

Beach volleyball growing on Grand Strand sand

Beach volleyball growing on Grand Strand sandWhat was once a leisurely pick-up game on the beach [more]

NMB boys hoops hopeful Walker in it for long haul

NMB boys hoops hopeful Walker in it for long haulNorth Myrtle Beach believes Ryan Walker is the person to [more]

Injury halts former Chant La Stella's All-Star debut

Injury halts former Chant La Stella's All-Star debut Former Coastal Carolina standout and Los Angeles Angels second baseman [more]

Pelicans well represented at All-Star Futures Game

Pelicans well represented at All-Star Futures GameMyrtle Beach Pelicans’ catcher Miguel Amaya has been selected to [more]

Baseball bonds all ages at Legends for Youth Clinic

Baseball bonds all ages at Legends for Youth ClinicEight former big leaguers - and about 60 aspiring ones [more]

Jordans lead MBTFC to wins at Junior Olympics

Jordans lead MBTFC to wins at Junior OlympicsThe Myrtle Beach Track & Field Club was represented by [more]

Hunter brings new energy to MB volleyball program

Hunter brings new energy to MB volleyball program New Myrtle Beach High volleyball coach Alyssa Hunter knows she [more]

Week 0: Chiefs top Tigers; Sharks beat Lions at horn

Week 0: Chiefs top Tigers; Sharks beat Lions at hornMatt Reel sighed more than once when talking about his [more]

Chiefs try to stay hungry, humble in title repeat bid

Chiefs try to stay hungry, humble in title repeat bidThe only thing harder than winning a state championship is [more]

Leave a Reply

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

© 2019 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach