Every day, Joe Molly can spend some of his time working on a $ 26 billion merger, being interviewed on CNBC, planning future football matches for coastal Carolina outside the conference, or advising a player on their future job prospects.
The only thing Moglia won’t do is go watch the clock.
“I still get a little emotional when I’m among the boys,” Molya said. “And I don’t need that.”
The truth is that Moglia does not need any of this. Whatever moment he set out to prove to himself and the world in 2009, when he retired as CEO of online brokerage company TD Ameritrade to become a football coach, he has long since succeeded. . As unconventional as his journey may have been, as well as the many skeptics he may have encountered for the first time, his tenure in coastal Carolina has been an unconditional success.
“Keep in mind that there has never been anyone like me in the history of college football,” Molya said.
This remains true today. Although Moglia handed over his daily coaching duties to Jamey Chadwell in 2019 after a seven-year run in which he won 72% of his games, Moglia retained the title of executive director of football and chairman of athletics – a decision – creating a role for which there is no a real plan throughout college football.
This is also a job that he essentially does for free.
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As part of the cuts in coastal Carolina in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Moglia has agreed to give up its $ 177,000 annual salary and accept just $ 1 as a formality, making it perhaps the biggest deal in college athletics. .
Moglia is not the only football coach or administrator to reduce salaries during the pandemic. But he is very likely to take the highest percentage of the percentage. The annual review of the compensations of the coaches of USA TODAY Sports reveals information about salary reductions for 99 coaches, over 40% of which have not seen a change in their salary. Of those who volunteered to reduce wages, the average reduction was 9% of their total compensation package for the year.
“I think the immediate place where it helped is (relieving) some of the deeper cuts that may have happened somewhere in the athletics department,” Molya said. “You do this to help everyone else. You don’t just say, “We don’t worry about what’s going on or I can’t be touched.” If you think that way, you are not thinking right. “
Not that money was ever really a factor in Moglia’s coaching career. Although Moglia’s net worth estimates are more speculation than fact, SEC statements show that its 2008 compensation package reached $ 21 million and more than $ 10 million in other years. He is not involved in coaching, seeking a salary increase.
And after retiring from coaching, Moglia also devoted more time to his business interests. He is the outgoing chairman of the board of TD Ameritrade and was part of the acquisition negotiations with Charles Schwab, which ended last week. Earlier this year, he launched Fundamental Global New America, a so-called special purpose acquisition company, and remained a partner in Capital Wealth Advisors.
He also didn’t mind playing a little golf, a hobby he gave up in 2009 when he entered Nebraska’s football program as a de facto intern for two years.
“I think I’m at a time in my life when I want to do things that I find stimulating and rewarding, but I don’t want to work with people I don’t want to work with and I don’t want to do things that I find painful. ass, “said Molya, who turned 71 this year. “I think I can make a real contribution and be very productive in that sense … but the responsibility for everyone else or the future of an organization is not necessarily on my shoulders. I think I’m good at it and I can still do it, but it’s really, really milk and really wears you out over time. “
Although Moglia started as a high school coach and then an assistant at Lafayette and Dartmouth in the early 1980s before his rise in the financial world, his coaching vocabulary in coastal Carolina always made him look more like running a gym. board than a football program.
It will use words such as “skill sets” that have nothing to do with running routes or blocking the perimeter, and create roles for people based on their core competencies and the value they add to the organization.
It may have been unconventional, but it wasn’t a trick. Under his watch, Coastal Carolina made the FCS playoffs four consecutive years and finished in the top 10 twice before jumping to FBS and the Sun Belt Conference.
Moglia’s current role is more difficult to define within the strict paradigm of how we usually think about football programs. He doesn’t go to practice, he doesn’t talk strategy with Chadwell, and he doesn’t decide which players to offer scholarships to. He deals with budgets and schedules, as well as the overall picture. But in the end, he is responsible for football as a link between the head coach and the school president.
“I’m not running the program – it’s Jamie – I’m just responsible for it,” said Moglia. “It is my responsibility to make sure that I am moving in the right direction and that we are in sync with where we are headed in the future.”
Asked what exactly this means, Moglia is not surprising in comparing him to being a CEO who is responsible for the company’s success or failure, but does not manage the day-to-day operations of the technology department or the legal department or finance department.
This may sound strange to someone who is accustomed to a typical head coach regime who is responsible for everything in his program and reports to an athletic director. But for an out-of-the-box thinker like Moglia, it makes perfect sense to take advantage of what he can specifically bring to the table.
“You design the work according to the skill set of the person you have. You don’t create a job and you slap someone in it,” he said. “I always said when I went into the business world for the first time, I thought I was much better at what I did because of my experience as a coach. I knew how to deal with people, I knew how to deal with stress. But after spending 25 years in the business world as a much older person, I think I’m a much better CEO when I was a head coach or now as a football CEO in that role, because of my experience as a a senior in the business world. “
It is unclear how long Moglia will continue to do so. The president who hired him, David Decenzo, is retiring next year. Moglia said he looked forward to working with incoming President Michael Benson of East Kentucky, but stressed that it served the president’s pleasure.
“If the university is not happy with me, they can fire me,” Molya said. “But they can’t run the football program. I lead the football program. If they don’t like doing this or are unhappy with me, they have the right to get rid of me. “
Given how successful Coastal Carolina has been – the Chanticleers are currently 3-0, with impressive victories over Kansas and Arkansas – it looks like the school is getting a pretty big $ 1 kick out of it.
“In my experience, when you talk about budget or strategic planning or planning, I’m quite experienced in all these things,” he said. “In fact, you wouldn’t be taking advantage of all the skill sets I offer at the table if I wasn’t ultimately responsible for implementing it.”