When the Charlotte 49ers visit the highly-touted Coastal Carolina Chanticleers on Saturday afternoon at 3pm, they’ll be going against a coach with an interesting backstory.
Joe Mogila, the Chants’ head coach, wasn’t even in football five years ago. In fact, he was with Merrill Lynch from 1983-2001 (rising to executive) and the CEO of TD Ameritrade in 2001-2008 before becoming that company’s chairman–over two decades removed from coaching high school ball and serving as a defensive coach at Lafayette and Dartmouth before entering the financial world. Around 2009, the itch to return to the game developed.
“There were a lot of opportunities, but then a group of alumni from the Ivy League started talking to me about what would happen if I went back to coaching,” he said in a telephone interview.
Instead of returning to his former conference, he met with Tom Osborne, the athletic director at Nebraska, which led to two years as the executive adviser to Coach Bo Pelini.
That led to a head-coaching gig in January 2011 with the Omaha Nighthawks of the failed UFL, just down the road from his offices at TD Ameritrade and who played in a stadium bearing the company’s name. Eleven months later, he was named Coastal’s head coach–and the rest is history. The Chants went 8-4 in 2012 en route to a Big South co-championship and a second-round appearance in the NCAA playoffs. They’re 8-0 this year and ranked #3 in the FCS coaches’ poll.
By the way, Moglia’s still TD Ameritrade’s chairman, so if the football thing doesn’t work out, he’s got that going for him.