COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Calm, analytical and without emotion — Coastal Carolina coach Joe Moglia called on that process to make scores of successful decisions as CEO of TD Ameritrade. So with Moglia facing potentially serious respiratory problems, he relied on his business past to temporarily walk away from the Chanticleers first season in the FBS Sun Belt Conference. "It's the way I approach things," Moglia told The Associated Press by phone. "So I felt this was no different than anything else."
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Calm, analytical and without emotion — Coastal Carolina coach Joe Moglia called on that process to make scores of successful decisions as CEO of TD Ameritrade. So with Moglia facing potentially serious respiratory problems, he relied on his business past to temporarily walk away from the Chanticleers first season in the FBS Sun Belt Conference.
"It's the way I approach things," Moglia told The Associated Press by phone. "So I felt this was no different than anything else."
Moglia, who turned 69 earlier this month, needed surgery on his trachea last summer to combat a worsening problem with his lungs — "I had mold growing inside my body," Moglia said — and his doctors asserted putting off the operation while handling the rigors of fulltime coaching at the game's highest level would be potentially dangerous.
So Moglia took the medical sabbatical, believing some time away last fall would add years onto his football coaching career.
"I made what I think is a 20-year decision," he said.
The school and Moglia agreed to a contract extension through June 2021.
Moglia's time away ended in January when he took back daily control from interim coach and offensive coordinator Jamey Chadwell.
The time away was not always easy for Moglia. But in true boardroom style, the author of "Coaching Yourself to Success: Winning the Investment Game," focused on family, his ongoing role of TD Ameritrade chairman and mostly stayed away from significant on-field decisions during the Chants first season as members of the Sun Belt Conference.
A couple of times when Moglia was asked to speak to his players, he let his emotions loose at being away. "I probably broke down every time that happened," Moglia recalled.
Breaking down is generally not in Moglia's DNA . He was a defensive coordinator at Dartmouth in 1983 struggling to move up the ladder in college football when he stepped into the business world in the MBA training program at Merrill Lynch. He became TD Ameritrade's CEO in 2001 and remained for seven successful years.
Never quite over the football bug, Moglia became Nebraska's executive adviser for football under Bo Pelini for two seasons in 2009 and 2010. Moglia was hired by Coastal Carolina after the 2011 season and turned a solid program into one of the best in the Football Championship Subdivision, reaching the NCAA playoff quarterfinals in 2012 and 2013 before losing to eventual champion North Dakota State both times.
The university, about 10 miles west of South Carolina's Grand Strand resort area of Myrtle Beach, made the jump to the FBS and Sun Belt last year. The Chants went 3-9, losing nine in a row against the increased competition. Moglia watched each game, made some notes but left any ideas about improving until his return.
He always thought he'd return, although he pledged to his family and doctors that he felt his infections return Moglia would not put off treatment.
Moglia's choice to leave did not surprise Kim Hillyer, managing director of communications for TD Ameritrade. Hillyer had worked with Moglia during his time as CEO and continues in his role as chairman. She said Moglia routinely weighed risk versus reward with a view toward the long term.
"Joe is a very logical person," Hillyer said.
Moglia, whose title is also Executive Director for Football, is once more front-and-center at Coastal Carolina. The Chants completed spring practice earlier this month. Moglia saw improvement and room for improvement (too many penalties in the spring game). He's anxious to dig in again and move the Chants up in the Sun Belt.
Coastal Carolina is still transitioning between the 63 full scholarships allowed in the FCS to the 85 for FBS teams — and many of its Sun Belt rivals. Moglia will operate with 76 full scholarships this year.
"I'd like to think that everybody we play on the schedule, we're going to give them a good game, no matter how good they are," Moglia said.