Coastal Carolina was abuzz with chatter after a major metropolitan newspaper sports column said CCU coach Joe Moglia should consider greener pastures – at least in the team color sense.
A Nov. 25 story by Matthew Futterman of The Wall Street Journal inked an op-ed arguing that the struggling New York Jets should consider hiring Moglia as its next coach.
Current Jets coach Rex Ryan is in his sixth season. Multiple national media outlets have reported this will likely be his last with the Jets (2-9).
The Wall Street Journal story quotes Moglia as expressing interest in coaching in the NFL, and specifically with the Jets.
“I would love to talk to Mr. Johnson,” Moglia told the newspaper, referencing Jets owner Woody Johnson.
In an interview Wednesday with the Carolina Forest Chronicle, Moglia said neither Johnson nor any other NFL owner have contacted him. He declined to discuss Ryan.
Moglia said The Wall Street Journal interviewed him earlier in November. As of Wednesday, Moglia hadn't read the story, though a printed copy it sits on his desk in Adkins Field House at Coastal Carolina.
Reaction from friends and colleagues, he said, has been positive.
"Getting a shout out by The Journal, especially relative to a pro team, is flattering and an honor," Moglia said. "They’ve seemed very happy for me and for Coastal to get this kind of recognition."
As for his Woody Johnson comment?
Moglia said it was a general statement of respect for the Jets owner that he gave when The Wall Street Journal reporter asked Moglia if he would ever speak with Johnson.
The CCU coach said he has no plans to leave, noting he would consider any possible NFL offer only after deep discussions with family, players, coaches and university administration. He’s in year three of a five-year deal with the Chanticleers.
“My intention is to be at Coastal Carolina, but if I were to get an opportunity that is truly incredible, I would have to be open to something like that,” Moglia said. “It would have to be an incredible opportunity for me to leave Coastal Carolina. I love being here.”
Moglia said he’s never met Johnson previously. He said any active football coach would be honored if an NFL offer arose.
“There are not many football coaches in the country that wouldn’t be glad to talk to the owner of the New York Jets if he [Johnson] called them,” Moglia said. “If the NFL was calling you, of course you’d talk to him.”
The Jets are coming off a humiliating 38-3 loss to the Buffalo Bills on Monday night. Their only wins this season are against the Oakland Raiders (Sept. 7) and Pittsburgh Steelers (Nov. 9).
Ryan led the Jets to the AFC playoffs in 2009 and 2010, but the team is 24-35 since then. He’s 44-47 overall as New York’s coach.
At 2-9 so far this year, the Jets are having their worst season since 1996, when the New York franchise finished 1-15.
Moglia, meantime, is 31-7 in his career at Coastal Carolina, which has made the playoffs every year since he was hired in place of former coach David Bennett.
Coastal Carolina (11-1 overall, 4-1 Big South) nearly completed a perfect season and was ranked No. 1 in the FCS Coaches' Poll before a blocked field goal resulted in a 15-14 loss to Liberty on Nov. 15.
CCU fell to No. 6 in the FCS Coaches' and Sports Network polls released Monday.
The Chants picked up their first playoff win in school history in 2012 – Moglia's first season – and advanced to the FCS quarterfinal in 2013 after upsetting then No. 5 ranked Montana in subzero temperatures.
Seeded No. 7 in this year's playoffs, Coastal Carolina host a second round game Dec. 6 against either Morgan State or Richmond.
Moglia was named Big South coach of the year earlier this week, the second time he's received the honor. He's also an Eddie Robinson Award finalist, which goes to the national FCS coach of the year.
But it’s actually Moglia’s business sense that The Wall Street Journal op-ed hones in on.
Futterman, the article's author, suggests Moglia’s business sense is what would make him an excellent NFL candidate, calling him a “turnaround specialist.”
The op-ed goes on to say Moglia would thrive in the “pressure cooker” of New York City, where the former Merrill Lynch executive and CEO of TD Ameritrade grew up and made his fortune.
Moglia doesn’t contest that. He agrees his business sense is his strongest asset as a head football coach.
But he always prefaces those remarks by saying any potential NFL offers are dreams that any coach desires. He emphasized Wednesday that he's not actively seeking a pro deal.
“The abilities and skill sets I have are quite apropos for the NFL, FBS or FCS,” Moglia said. “I have always said I was a better business guy.”