Thursday, June 12, 2014

Joe Moglia's career switch paying off

Link to article: Joe Moglia's career switch paying off
The final staff meeting of the spring is brief, which is the norm at Coastal Carolina. The conference room is stuffed to the brim with assistants huddled around a small table, interns and graduate assistants haphazardly perched along the outskirts. At the center of the scrum is Moglia. 
After more than two years working for the country's most unlikely college coach, Moglia's staff has embraced his obsession with efficiency. Early recruiting pitches include little more than a generic grade of the player's ability. "An 'A' means I don't want to play this guy, a 'C' means I can't wait to play him," Moglia explains. Film study in meetings is capped at four plays per position group. If a decision can't be explained clearly in a single sentence, Moglia is apt to dismiss it entirely. 
Moglia touts that his staff likely gets more down time throughout the year than any in the nation. He's done the research, and the rewards of extended workdays diminish rapidly after a certain point. Today's meeting will conclude with a demand that his coaches spend more time relaxing than recruiting during their summer break. 
But if the rapid-fire workday and required relaxation is accepted dogma at Coastal Carolina, Moglia's latest innovation remains a point of mild contention. He's outlawed tackling during practice.
"Faster not physical," he said. "As long as we're compounding properly, we'll be good." 
There is no dissent from the crowd, even if some remain reluctant to buy in. Letting go of tradition is hard. Moglia knows that. It's his competitive advantage. 
Among the investment magazines and football trophies that litter Moglia's office is a plaque hanging on a wall that reads, "Think outside the box." He's been a businessman and a coach, but in a more perfect world, Moglia insists, he would've been a chess master. 
When Moglia ended his first stint in coaching, he could be barely keep his family afloat on a meager salary. When he returned to college football in 2008, it was for an unpaid job with Nebraska. In the interim, he was one of Wall Street's great success stories, rising through the ranks at Merrill Lynch before becoming CEO at Ameritrade, where he turned the niche investment firm into a market behemoth. 
Above his desk at Coastal are two framed pictures. One is of legendary coach Vince Lombardi; the other of Warren Buffett. The latter is personalized and signed, a souvenir from one of Moglia's many visits with the billionaire investor. 

Related book: 4th and Goal: One Man's Quest to Recapture His Dream

[H/T Matt]