With the start of fall camp quickly approaching, the Coastal Carolina football staff has been busy collecting recruiting commitments and getting ready for the current Chanticleers to reconvene in preparation for the 2015 season.
Chants head coach Joe Moglia, meanwhile, fit in some time between phone calls and other visitors Thursday to recap his offseason and cover a few pertinent topics as the football season nears.
Q: What has been the response from recruits and other visitors about the new teal turf in Brooks Stadium?
Moglia: “They all think it’s very cool, they really do. They like looking at it, they think it’s different, they ask about it. I think they appreciate it.”
Q: Obviously a few other schools – with Boise State being the most famous example – have their own unique turf. What do you think the advantage is, from a selling standpoint and for what it does for the program?
Moglia: “Frankly, if a guy only comes here because he likes our field, that’s the wrong guy. We don’t want that kid here. But I think the fact [is] it’s just one more thing that reinforces that what we do and the way we approach Coastal Carolina football is different than many other programs. Again, we don’t have any rules – it’s all about standing on your own two feet and accepting responsibility for yourself. We don’t [state] any lofty goals. It’s all about putting a team on the field that all of Coastal Carolina is going to be proud of. That means you give 100 percent. ... We have a great emphasis on life after football. We spend real time every week, we give up practice time to spend time on that. Nobody really does that. Everybody talks about that stuff, but nobody gives up practice time to do that.
“So for us to have a field that is uniquely ours is special. I think it’s just one of those things that kind of reemphasizes the class our program has, that the university has. It all comes together and it’s impressive. It certainly helps, but it’s not just the field. It’s far more than that.”
Q: How has the offseason gone for you personally? Any highlights? Any interesting speaking engagements?
Moglia: “Actually I’ve had a handful of speaking engagements I feel pretty good about. I was the keynote speaker at the C-100 Chief Executive Forum that took place in New York. I was a keynote speaker to the ACC Football Officials that had their conference down here in May. So there were a handful of talks.
“One of the things that I did that I felt especially good about is an organization called ‘Defy’ (Defy Ventures). A woman by the name of Catherine Hoke is the CEO of that, and the recidivism rate in the United States for convicts is about 75 percent. There’s clearly something wrong with our prison system. We’ve got to be able to fix it. What she does is she deals with convicts, and she not only helps them get jobs; she helps them acclimate to society. Now, there’s a handful of these people that she calls graduates that ran great businesses. They may have been illegal businesses, but they have good [entrepreneurial]minds, etc., and she’s dealt with thousands of these guys and her rate [of recidivism among people she coaches] is like 10 percent.
“She had spent quite a bit of time interviewing with me and creating five-minute modules that her graduates or her entrepreneurs in training have a chance to see. And part of my background comes from a gang. You’ve got those things that are all related to that. I’m actually going to have her and two of her graduates come in and talk to our football team. So that was a highlight in terms of what went on in the summer.
“Beyond that, I had a torn meniscus and had surgery on my knee. So that’s it.”
Q: How did the knee injury occur?
Moglia: “I was running in the ocean and I got banged around a little bit and I think that exacerbate it, but I think it was more wear and tear over the years and probably was going to happen at some point anyway.”
Q: This was the first time didn’t have any coaching positions to fill after a season. Did that make the offseason easier for you?
Moglia: “Yes and no. Again, if my guys have an opportunity to really have something special, I want them to be able to get that and I have to be prepared to bring somebody in. So it’s not uncommon for our guys to be interviewed or considered for jobs. So once I know that or am even aware of that, I start putting my thoughts together about who those potential successors might be. That’s par for the course. So even though no one left you have to go through the same motions. It’s part of the process, at least, that I look at. The most important job I have is hiring the right guys because they’re the ones that are always interacting with our players.”
Q: My favorite question to ask you every offseason: did you have any other schools reach out to you about coaching jobs?
Moglia: “I did have some contacts, not so much this summer but certainly in the offseason, and as we’ve talked about in the past, for programs I said I don’t have interest in I’m not comfortable talking about that because I think that’s inappropriate. But there’s nothing going on now. We’re getting ready for our season.
Q: How is quarterback Alex Ross progressing from shoulder surgery?
Moglia: “I would say if he’s not 100 percent, he’s close to it.”
Q: So he has been throwing?
Moglia: “Yes, he’s been throwing since the beginning of May. ... I haven’t been able to watch him, but my reports from the medical staff are that his shoulder is good and he’s throwing well.”
Q: Just from following Twitter, it seems it’s been a good recruiting period for the program this offseason. How would you compare the progression of recruiting at this point to previous years?
Moglia: “If you think about the kids that actually visit here, I think the typical kid is a better athlete and a more accomplished football player than the typical kid we would have gotten in previous years. They tend to be better students on average than the typical kid. Now there’s certainly kids from the past few years that are outstanding, and these kids are not necessarily better than them, but the average kid is probably a better athlete, a better student.”
Q: Finally, I know you’re always evaluating the program and making changes as necessary. Is there anything different in store for this season?
Moglia: “There’s a possibility we’re going to have names on the back of our jerseys. That’s about it.”
Q: Oh yeah? How did that idea originate?
Moglia: “The team leadership council talked to [director of football operations George Glenn] and I about that and there were things we needed to do with regards to uniforms anyway, and I told George if we could swing it with our budget, let’s do it. So that’s not final yet, but we’re trying to get that done. I think we’re moving in that direction.”
Contact RYAN YOUNG at 626-0318 or on Twitter @RyanYoungTSN.