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Coastal Carolina's 'billionaire coach' in playoffs

Coastal Carolina's 'billionaire coach' in playoffs

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) Coastal Carolina coach Joe Moglia increased the stock value of a company from $700 million to $10 billion in seven years. So he doesn't think anyone should be surprised he could get the Football Championship Subdivision Chanticleers to the playoffs in his first year.

Plenty of people questioned Coastal Carolina when the school hired the man nicknamed the ``Billionaire Coach.'' Moglia coached a bit in high school and was an Ivy League assistant before heading into the business world in 1984.

After nearly two decades as a stock broker that were wildly successful, Moglia's recent coaching resume included only two years as an unpaid executive adviser at Nebraska and a 1-4 record in 2011 as head coach of the UFL's Omaha Nighthawks.

But Moglia sold the school on a simple idea - that putting together a successful business or a successful football team isn't all that different.

``When I became a leader in the business world, I was a far better business leader because of my experience as a coach. I think frankly I am a better head coach at the college level because of my experience as a business leader,'' said Moglia, who is best known for a 500 percent return as CEO of TD Ameritrade from 2001-08.

Coastal Carolina (7-4) won a share of the Big South Conference title and an automatic bid to the playoffs on a tiebreaker. The Chanticleers will be on the road Saturday for an opening-round game against Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champion Bethune-Cookman (9-2).

It is the third playoff bid in Coastal Carolina's 10 years of football, and it came as a bit of a surprise. Moglia took over for the man who got the program off the ground, David Bennett. His teams had hovered around .500 for the past five years, and fans braced for a tough season as Moglia put his coaches and his ideas in place.

The Chanticleers started 2-4. But one of those losses was to Toledo, and two came to other teams that made the FCS playoffs.

The bye week was during the losing streak, and Moglia said he changed some of what he was doing. Coastal Carolina finished the season winning its last five games and got some help when Liberty beat the best team in the Big South, Stony Brook. All three teams finished with a 5-1 record in the conference, and the automatic playoff bid went to the fourth tiebreaker, away victories, which the Chanticleers won because they swept their three road games.

``We really could have given up. But it was a great job by the coaches and the whole staff - everyone at Coastal Carolina - to keep us pushing,'' said quarterback Aramis Hillary, a senior transfer from South Carolina.

Moglia discusses football in business terms. He talks about how important it is to hire good people to work as vice presidents or assistant coaches. He said it was important in both worlds to have a long-range plan, but be ready to adjust that plan quickly when something unexpected happens. Businesses have to figure out how to use their people and advantages to become a leader in their industries.

``In the world of football, we do the same thing,'' Moglia said ``What are the basic offense, defense and kicking systems? What are the strengths of our people, of our players? What are the things we understand? What are the things we can do? We adapt and adjust our systems to their skill sets so we can maximize the potential of our team. And then you apply that the best you can in terms of a game plan.''

The only real difference is in business, a leader gets judged by profits, while in football, the measurement is wins, Moglia said.

Moglia's approach to football as a business is even apparent in the team's media guide. In 2011, players' photos were in their uniforms. In 2012, each player is wearing an identical tie in the team's colors of teal and black and a dark blazer.

Coastal Carolina certainly took a risk hiring a guy with such little recent football experience. But as Moglia knows, carefully assessing a risk and taking it can reap big rewards.

``The ability to be able to put together a program or an organization and lay that foundation is something I've really been doing for the past 25 years of my life,'' Moglia said.

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: On to Vegas!

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USA TODAY Sports

Capitals Faceoff Podcast: On to Vegas!

The Capitals are the Eastern Conference Champions!

After dispatching Tampa Bay in Game 7, the Caps claimed the conference crown for just the second time in franchise history. But they're not done yet. Now it's on to Vegas to face the Golden Knights for the Stanley Cup.

JJ Regan and Tarik El-Bashir break down the Caps' win over the Lightning and look ahead to the matchup with the Knights.

Check out their latest episode in the player below or listen on the Capitals Faceoff Podcast page.

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Michigan's Moritz Wagner could be Wizards' solution for a stretch-five

Michigan's Moritz Wagner could be Wizards' solution for a stretch-five

The pre-draft workout process can be an exhausting journey for players, with so many flights, hotel rooms and NBA arenas that they can all blend in together. Michigan big man Moritz Wagner, though, may have felt a sense of comfort in Washington for his pre-draft workout for the Wizards on Wednesday.

It was just over a year ago that his Michigan Wolverines cut down the nets at Capital One Arena as champions of the Big Ten conference.

"It was good memories, man. Never gets old," he said while glancing around the stadium.

Wagner, 21, will be seeing a lot more of Capital One Arena once he joins the NBA ranks and it is conceivable he ends up in Washington. They hold the 15th pick in the first round and the 44th pick in the second round and Wagner could be within their reach.

Wagner had an impressive workout in Washington and could provide what the Wizards need. He is a big, mobile and can spread the floor. Wagner was terrific at stepping out to hit threes off pick-and-rolls at Michigan and that ability would work well with Wizards All-Star point guard John Wall.

Wagner measured in at just under 7-feet at this month's NBA Combine, fifth-tallest among those who attended. He averaged 14.6 points as a junior this past season and made 39.4 percent of his threes on 4.1 attempts per game.

With three years of college experience and an NBA-ready jumper, Wagner believes he can step right in and help the Wizards.

"I think what we did at Michigan, sharing the ball and playing as a team, very organized basketball, that can help big-time," he said. "It's basically pro basketball I was playing on a different level."

As Wagner will tell you, he is very confident in his abilities. He is comfortable in his own skin and that includes openly discussing his faults. He feels good about his ability to score at the next level. Defense is where he needs to prove himself.

Despite his size, Wagner wasn't much of a rim protector in college. He averaged just a half-block a game as a junior. The Wizards need rim protection badly and he likely would not provide that.

Wagner, though, believes he can bring more to the table defensively than the numbers would suggest.

"I think I've been an offensive guy all of my life, but the more that you mature as a player, you understand that both sides are important. Without defense, you aren't going to play at any level," he said.

"I think the most important thing that I wasn't able to show in college is that I'm able to switch the ball-screen, especially with the way the league is going. Switch on everything and stay in front of guards as a big guy."

Wagner is from Germany and looks up to Mavs legend Dirk Nowitzki, who is entering his 21st season and will be in the Hall of Fame someday. Nowitzki's game has always been built around shooting and, though he developed into a decent shot-blocker in his prime, was never an elite rim protector.

Wagner hopes to follow in his footsteps playing a similar style.

"He was my MJ. He kind of shows you 'okay, this is possible and this is doable.' It's just basketball," Wagner said. "It gives you a lot of hope. It gives you a lot of belief and motivation."

Hear more from Wagner in his one-on-one interview with Chris Miller in our latest Wizards Tipoff podcast. His interview can also be found in the video above:

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