Coastal Carolina hires billionaire as its new head coach

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Quite a few men get into coaching and come out the other end as fairly wealthy head coaches.  Not a lot of them, if any, though, enter the head-coaching game as filthy rich individuals — and by “filthy rich” we mean “10-digit loaded”.

Yet that’s where the situation currently stands at Coastal Carolina, a Div. 1-AA (FCS) school that announced Tuesday the hiring Joe Moglia as its new head coach.  Football-wise, Moglia is probably best known as either the executive adviser to the Nebraska football program in 2009-10 or as the former head coach/current president of the United Football League’s Omaha Nighthawks.

Financial-wise, the 61-year-old Moglia is known as a billionaire businessman who was the CEO of TD Ameritrade from 2001 until becoming the chairman of the board of the same company in 2008, a title he will still hold even as he continues on as the president of a professional football league team and head coach of a college football team.  This job at Coastal Carolina will actually be a continuation of Moglia’s coaching career; Moglia coached at programs such as Lafayette and Dartmouth before embarking on a second career in the financial sector in 1983.

What will turn out to be nearly three decades later, however, Moglia will be back at the collegiate level in 2012.

“Having a hand in helping 18-22 year-olds become men through football has always been important to me, and I couldn’t be more excited to do that at Coastal Carolina,” Moglia said. “Being part of our Nighthawks team has been an honor for me.”

Going back to his time with the Cornhuskers, Moglia was effusive in his praise for athletic director Tom Osborne and head coach Bo Pelini.  In fact, Moglia said if it weren’t for the time he spent in Lincoln, he wouldn’t be where he’s at in his life right now, which is apparently a very rich man with a really, really cool third job.

“Had it not been for the opportunity I had with the University of Nebraska, none of this would have become a reality,” said the new coach. “I will be forever appreciative to Bo and Tom for allowing me to do that. I’m continuing as Chairman of TD Ameritrade and Omaha has become my home and will always have a place in my heart.”

Honestly, I think the biggest question to come out of this, aside from the obvious “how did the SEC let a billionaire coach get away” query, is whether or not it will give T. Boone Pickens any grandiose ideas of becoming the head coach at Oklahoma State.  And, before you ask, no, there’s no truth to the rumor that Pittsburgh has already interviewed Warren Buffet, or that Bill Gates is on Penn State’s radar.

As for the man Moglia will be replacing?  David Bennett was the only head coach in the football program’s history, compiling a 63-39 mark during his nine years there.  Football-wise, he’s best known for, well, the following YouTube clip that will never, ever get old for a human being who views it.  Or cats and dogs, for that matter:

Southern Miss, Troy schedule 4-game series

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Southern Miss and Troy on Tuesday jointly announced a four-game series to be spread across the next decade.

Troy will visit Hattiesburg on Sept. 18, 2021, but Southern Miss will not make a return visit until Sept. 14, 2024. The teams will then take the next three years off before resuming in Troy again on Sept. 16, 2028, and the series will conclude on Sept. 1, 2029 in Hattiesburg.

“We are excited to announce these future games for our football program,” Southern Miss AD Jeremy McClain said. “Our scheduling philosophy moving forward will continue to include regionally based opponents that provide great opportunities for fans to enjoy Golden Eagle football.”

Southern Miss and Troy have met nine times previously, first in 1937 and most recently 2016. The Trojans won both of those games, while Southern Miss took the seven in between.

As of today, Southern Miss has its entire 2021 non-conference slate lined up against teams from the state of Alabama. The Golden Eagles open at South Alabama, then visit Tuscaloosa a week after hosting Troy. The Trojans stand as USM’s only non-conference opponent on the books for the 2024, ’28 and ’29 seasons.

Troy, meanwhile, hosts Liberty on Sept. 11, 2021, and visits South Carolina a week after the trip to Hattiesburg. The Trojans will visit Memphis a week before hosting USM in 2024, and have no other games scheduled in 2028 or ’29.

 

Former USC, Tennessee assistant Willie Mack Garza joins Wyoming staff

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Wyoming has hired Willie Mack Garza as the club’s safeties coach, the program announced Tuesday.

Garza is a new name to Cowboys fans but not new to head coach Craig Bohl. Garza worked for Bohl at North Dakota State from 2005-08. That stint led him to join Lane Kiffin‘s staffs at Tennessee (2009) and USC (’10). At Tennessee, Garza committed a show-cause penalty for violating a recruiting rule.

“I do want to make one thing clear, Willie Mack has acknowledged a mistake he made 10 years ago that resulted in him being disciplined by the NCAA for a recruiting violation,” Bohl said. “Since then, he has been reinstated by the NCAA.  We have a reputation of holding ourselves to high ethical standards here at the University of Wyoming, and I expect Coach Garza to follow those high standards.”

Garza spent the past two seasons at Dixie State, a Division II school in Utah, including one as defensive coordinator. He left Dixie State earlier this year to become the co-defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach at Texas A&M-Commerce, another Division II school.

“First and foremost this is a blessing that Coach (Craig) Bohl and the University of Wyoming Athletics Department has provided me this opportunity to come coach here,” said Garza.  “I love coaching.  It is in my blood.  I love being around the players and the other coaches, going into the WAR Room and preparing.  This is also an opportunity for me to provide a platform for young men to be successful on and off the football field in the four to five years that they are here and for the rest of their lives.”

With Garza aboard, Cowboys defensive coordinator Jake Dickert will now transition to linebackers coach in addition to his coordinator duties.

At least nine players have now left South Carolina this offseason

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The transfer train has made frequent stops in Columbia throughout the offseason, and the month of May has been no exception.

Cole Cubelic of the SEC Network was the first to report Monday that the name of safety Jonathan Gipson is now listed in the NCAA transfer database.  Additionally, 247Sports.com is reporting that wide receiver-turned-running back Joe Thomas has entered the portal as well.

After coming to the Gamecocks as a three-star 2018 signee, Gipson played in two games as a true freshman.  Because he played in fewer than four games, Gipson can take a redshirt for 2018, which would leave him with four years of eligibility.  However, barring something unexpected, Gipson would have to sit out the 2019 season if he moves on to another FBS program, meaning he’d have three years to play three seasons beginning in 2020.

Thomas, a walk-on, played in two games this past season as well.

Gipson and Thomas are at least the eighth and ninth players to transfer from the Gamecocks this offseason, joining, among others, defensive end Shameik Blackshear (HERE), linebacker Zay Brown (HERE), quarterback Darius Douglas (HERE) and running back Ty’Son Williams (HERE).

Mississippi State announces four-year extension for Joe Moorhead

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In late November of 2017, Mississippi State confirmed that Joe Moorhead would replace Dan Mullen as its head football coach.  One season into his tenure, and Moorhead’s already being rewarded with a reworked deal as MSU announced Tuesday the university and the coach have reached an agreement on a four-year contract extension through the 2022 season.

Moorhead is set to make an average of $3.2 million annually under the terms of the new deal, compared to the $2.6 million he earned in 2018.  The new figure would make him the 11th-highest-paid head coach in the SEC, up from 13 (out of 14 schools) a year ago.

“We are excited about the leadership of Mississippi State football under Coach Moorhead,” athletic director John Cohen said in a statement. “He is a man of integrity, loyalty and humility. His love for his players and our program is evident. He is driven by elevating our program to a championship standard on and off the field. We look forward to watching the continued growth of our football program under his watch.”

“It’s a privilege to be the head football coach at Mississippi State,” a statement from Moorhead began. “I want to thank John, President (Mark) Keenum and this wonderful University for believing in me. My family and I love Starkville. For me, it’s about building a championship program our Bulldog fans can be proud of and helping our players maximize their potential on and off the field, while walking away with a meaningful degree from Mississippi State University. Our team is excited about the season ahead, and I look forward to continuing to elevate our program in everything we do.”

In his first season in Starkville, Moorhead guided the Bulldogs to an 8-5 record, a mark that included an Outback Bowl loss to Iowa.  According to the school, Moorhead is the second MSU head coach to win eight or more games in his debut season and the first since College Football Hall of Famer Allyn McKeen in 1939.