Going for broke to break the CCU football coaching story

Not to toot our own horn but … DaDaDaDa-TaaDaa!
It’s well deserved since GrandStrandSportsReport.com, in cooperation with sportstalkgolive.com and thepressboxradio.com, were the first to break the news about Coastal Carolina’s bizarre football coaching hire by about nine hours.

After the local TV stations had switched to Letterman and Leno and the newspapers were safely out to bed for the night, we were still working the phones and numerous sources to find the 411, and we got it. A shout-out to Allen Smothers and Phil Kornblut for all their assistance.

Now that the bragging is over, the real reason I’m sharing this story because it was a wild 24-hour ride that readers might enjoy knowing about. For me it was a return to the adreneline rush I used to get when I was chasing a big story for The Sun News back in the day.

It all started with a tip early Monday that Coastal was calling a news conference for Tuesday to announce their new coach. Kind of quick, I thought, and we started making the usual round of phone calls to see what we could find out. All signs pointed to Chuck Amato.

The former N.C. State coach made more sense than any other candidate we had heard mentioned. He spent two decades coaching under Florida State legend Bobby Bowden and had some success at N.C. State, but his record with the Wolfpack was worse than David Bennett’s.

We were so close to going with the story before Smothers called to kill the deal, saying Amato was not Coastal’s man. We later learned from another source that someone had sent a congratulatory Tweet to Amato’s wife, who responded something to the effect of “We wish it was us.”

We were stumped and desperate, then Kornblut drops what turned out to be a bombshell. A source had mentioned to him to look out for this guy who was a dark horse, a billionaire Wall Street suit that was willing to build a football program with his own wealth if necessary.

Like Kornblut, I laughed off the idea until I started doing some research on Joe Moglia. His credentials were impressive, he was involved with some reputable football folks, and to the best of our knowledge he did not hate cats. Still, this seemed too far-fetched even for Coastal.

Then came the break; the Bad Boy comes through with confirmation that Joe Billionaire was coming to Conway. I started writing the story that I couldn’t believe myself while partner Tyler Watkins worked his social-media magic and found more evidence pointing to the unthinkable.

I finished the story, pondered a headlne, found a great photo of Moglia on his website featuring a CEO sitting on the sidelines with a football. Then my cursor hovered over the “publish” button for what seemed like an eternity. Once I pushed this button, nothing would be the same.

Not to be too dramatic, but our website is only 3 months old and we’re still striving to draw visitors and establish ourselves as THE source for local sports. If the story is true and we’re the only local media outlet to get it in advance, we earn instant credibility in the community.

But if the story is wrong, like some decoy planted by CCU to throw the press off the real trail, we are just another website that throws rumors out there just to attract attention. I’ve spent my entire career trying to avoid misleading readers. It’s a responsibility I take very seriously.

So after rehashing what we knew, who we learned it from and how we learned it, I took a deep breath and pushed the button at about 2 a.m. There was no way of sleeping before the news came out. We started drawing traffic immediately and broke our one-day record by 9:30 a.m.

Then it happened. CCU sent out an early press release confirming the hire and Maglio took the stage and quickly set the record for the longest opening statement in college football history – more than 30 minutes before taking questions from the floor, 1 hour, 10 minutes in all.

I could only giggle like a school girl while the whole thing was unfolding. It reminded me of why I got into this business 20-plus years ago.
Although there is competition among media members for bragging rights to breaking a story, the real reason we do it is to give our readers the truth as it happens, not when the powers-that-be decide it’s time. It’s more important that we be right rather than first, but doing both is sweet.
Just wanted to take you behind the scenes to see how we roll here at GSSR. We’re looking out for you, even if we have to look in some odd places at some odds times – and come up with a story so odd it has to be true.

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]

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]

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]

Soccer Locker ready for final horn after 25 years

Soccer Locker ready for final horn after 25 yearsA child steps up to the counter to purchase his [more]

MB Track and Field Club flies high at Florence meet

MB Track and Field Club flies high at Florence meetThe Myrtle Beach Track & Field Club combined boys and [more]

Rivers named honorable mention All-American

Rivers named honorable mention All-AmericanCoastal Carolina senior outfielder Kieton Rivers was recognized as a [more]

Trio of Pelicans pitchers are midseason All-Stars

Trio of Pelicans pitchers are midseason All-StarsMyrtle Beach right-handed pitchers Javier Assad, Jesus Camargo and Paul [more]

Grand Strand rec athletes find passion for pickleball

Grand Strand rec athletes find passion for pickleballNearly 100 local recreational athletes put themselves in a real [more]

CCU football loses legend with retirement of Glenn

CCU football loses legend with retirement of GlennCoastal Carolina football chief of staff and director of football [more]

Chants' season ends with stinging defeat to Jackets

Chants' season ends with stinging defeat to JacketsCoastal Carolina baseball had its season come to an end [more]

Coastal wrangles Rattlers to stay alive in Regional

Coastal wrangles Rattlers to stay alive in RegionalThe Chanticleers took an early 3-0 lead and did not [more]

MB Track & Field Club shines at Club Challenge

MB Track & Field Club shines at Club ChallengeThe Myrtle Beach Track and Field Club welcomed 22 clubs [more]

Chants battered by Tigers, drop into losers bracket

Chants battered by Tigers,  drop into losers bracketCoastal Carolina baseball saw a 2-2 tie disappear in the [more]

Chiefs seeking sixth boys hoops coach in nine years

Chiefs seeking sixth boys hoops coach in nine yearsNorth Myrtle Beach is looking for a new boys basketball [more]

Grand Strand dominates state golf course rankings

Grand Strand dominates state golf course rankings Golfweek has unveiled its annual list of the “Best Courses [more]

Hemingway narrows his college wish list to five

Hemingway narrows his college wish list to fiveTonka Hemingway has played enough games with opposing offensive linemen. He’s [more]

Chants headed to Atlanta, face Auburn in first round

Chants headed to Atlanta, face Auburn in first roundCoastal Carolina baseball received the No. 3 seed in the [more]

Chants dig deep, defend Sun Belt championship

Chants dig deep, defend Sun Belt championshipCoastal Carolina outscored the Georgia Southern Eagles 9-1 over the [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]

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]

2 responses to “Going for broke to break the CCU football coaching story”

  1. Dan says:

    Thanks for posting this! Your coverage over the last few days has definitely impressed me. As a Chanticleer alum living in New York, I needed a place to find some quality sports coverage, and your efforts this past week have definitely won me over. Keep it up!

  2. Randall Hill says:

    Hey Terry:
    Great job on breaking the story. I know you were nervous about hitting the publish button but sometimes you have to take a chance when you know you have a great source. I’m so glad you are here making things happen only this time they are your rewards.

    Randall

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