With $1 salary, Joe Moglia may be the biggest bargain in college football

On any given day, Joe Moglia could spend some of his time working on a $26 billion merger, being interviewed on CNBC, strategizing future non-conference football games for Coastal Carolina or advising a player about their future employment prospects.

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The one thing Moglia won’t do is go watch practice. 

“I still get a little emotional when I’m around the guys,” Moglia said. “And I don’t need that.” 

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Truth be told, Moglia doesn’t really need any of this. Whatever point he set out to prove to himself and the world back in 2009 when he stepped down as CEO of online brokerage firm TD Ameritrade to become a football coach, he’s long since made good. As unconventional as his path might have been, and many skeptics as he might have first encountered, his tenure at Coastal Carolina has been an unqualified success.



a man standing in front of a crowd: Coastal Carolina's Joe Moglia had a 56-22 record as head coach before becoming executive director for football and chair of athletics


© Sean Rayford, AP
Coastal Carolina’s Joe Moglia had a 56-22 record as head coach before becoming executive director for football and chair of athletics

“Keep in mind that there has been nobody like me in the history of college football,” said Moglia. 

That remains true today. Though Moglia handed the day-to-day coaching duties to Jamey Chadwell in 2019 following a seven-year run in which he won 72% of his games, Moglia has retained the title of executive director for football and chair of athletics — a decision-making role for which there’s no real blueprint in all of college football.

It’s also a job he’s essentially doing for free. 

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As part of Coastal Carolina’s cutbacks amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Moglia agreed to forego his $177,000 annual salary and accept just $1 as a formality, making him arguably the biggest bargain in college athletics. 

Moglia is not the only football coach or administrator taking a pay cut during the pandemic. But he’s very likely taking the biggest cut by percentage. USA TODAY Sports’ annual review of coaches’ compensation found pay-cut information for 99 coaches, more than 40% of whom have not seen a change in their pay. Of those who have volunteered for a pay cut, the average reduction amounts to 9% of their total compensation package for the year.

“I think the immediate place where it helped is (relieving) some of the deeper cuts that might have taken place somewhere in the athletic department,” Moglia said. “You do that in an effort to help out everybody else. You don’t just say, ‘We’re not worried about what else is going on or I can’t be touched.’ If you think that way, you’re not thinking right.”

Not that money was ever really a factor in Moglia’s coaching career. Though estimates of Moglia’s net worth are more speculation than fact, SEC filings indicate that