CONWAY, South Carolina — When he dies, 71-year-old Joe Moglia wants only one simple description written in his obituary, or perhaps etched onto his tombstone.
“I want it to say that this guy had a real impact on a lot of people,” Moglia told the Deseret News Thursday.
Who’s Joe Moglia?
That question doesn’t need to be asked in the greater Myrtle Beach area, where he’s known for turning tiny Coastal Carolina University into a college football force to be reckoned with. It also doesn’t need to be asked on Wall Street, where Moglia was once the chairman of the board and former CEO of TD Ameritrade, the largest online discount brokerage firm in the world.
Moglia coached the Chanticleers, who host the BYU Cougars on Saturday (3:30 p.m. MST, ESPNU) at nearby Brooks Stadium, from 2012 to 2018 and guided their transition from the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) level to the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) level where it is now.
He helped Coastal make the FCS playoffs four straight years before it moved to the Sun Belt Conference of the FBS.
Having stepped down as head coach in January 2019, handing over the reins to assistant Jamey Chadwell, Moglia is still involved with the program with the title of executive director for football and chair of athletics.
And he’s doing it all for free, pretty much.
When Coastal’s athletic department made budget cuts as a concession to the COVID-19 pandemic that has decimated athletic budgets throughout the country — BYU faces a $20 million shortfall, AD Tom Holmoe said last month — Moglia volunteered to give up his $177,000 yearly salary.
“I did that so a couple other people could keep their jobs,” he said.
He now makes $1 a year.
“There’s probably nobody like me in all of college football,” he said. “When I stepped down, intellectually it was the right thing for me to do. But emotionally it was still very difficult.”
That’s why Moglia doesn’t attend practices — it is too hard on him, he says, because he recruited and coached a lot of the players that have the program rolling with a 9-0 record and No. 18 spot in the College Football Playoff rankings.
“We are proud of what we’ve accomplished at Coastal Carolina over the last eight years,” he said.
Before he got into coaching, Moglia was a Wall Street mogul. According to USA Today, his compensation package in 2008 was close to $21 million. Other years, he made more than $10 million a year.
Before he took over at Ameritrade, he was a member of several executive committees at Merrill Lynch.
“I was incredibly successful in the business world,” he said. “But I wanted to go back and genuinely help guys in this particular point in their lives, and help them create a foundation for their future lives, and that gives me more satisfaction than anything else I’ve ever done.”
Moglia said his role is to act as a go-between and serve as an adviser to Chadwell.
“I am not a big football fan, but I do love the strategy behind the games,” he said.
Asked for a scouting report on the Chanticleers, he said the No. 13 Cougars, who are No. 8 in both major polls, will have their hands full with the upstarts from the East Coast.
“I know BYU has a great team,” he said. “This might be the greatest team they have had in their history. I know it will be a big challenge for us. But we are a good football team. We will hold our own.”
Coincidentally, Moglia’s new boss is a BYU graduate. Incoming Coastal Carolina president Michael T. Benson, who takes over in January 2021, previously served as president of Snow College, Southern Utah University and Eastern Kentucky University and is the grandson of Ezra Taft Benson a former president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“If they aren’t happy with me, they can let me go,” he said, almost nonchalantly. “I’ve had a great run.”
And it won’t cost him more than 10 dimes.