This afternoon, the United Football League announced that former TD Ameritrade CEO Joe Moglia will be the new head coach of the Virginia Destroyers, a team based in Hampton Roads, Va., that is scheduled to begin play next year.
Less than a month ago, Moglia – who is serving as executive advisor to Nebraska’s head football coach Bo Pelini - told me he was intent on becoming a head football coach as soon as possible.
We talked with Moglia, who served as defensive coordinator at Dartmouth 27 years ago, about why he chose to take the job and what the future holds for him.
Darren: How does it feel?
Moglia: It feels great. It’s a dream come true. I really do believe that I’m cut out to do something like this and I’m very passionate about it.
Darren: Why didn’t you wait until college coaching jobs opened up?
Moglia: Frankly, the UFL was a great job for me. They have a great foundation of coaches in Jim Fassel, Dennis Green, Jeff Jagodzinski, Jay Gruden and Chris Palmer. I just didn’t want to wait until the college jobs opened up and I was having conversations with the United Football League.
Darren: Many people aren’t confident about the league’s potential to continue playing, what assured you?
"I really do believe that I’m cut out to do something like this and I’m very passionate about it.""
Moglia: Commissioner Michael Huyghue has put a phenomenal product on the field and they’ve gone reasonably slowly. They haven’t just tried to have 28 franchises from the start and the communities that have the teams don’t have pro teams so they are very much vested in the product. I went to several Omaha Nighthawks games and they were sold out. I wouldn’t be surprised if after the championship game this year, some guys get NFL jobs.
Darren: Did you look at the financials?
Moglia: I did look at the financials. You’re not going to have a league start up like this and operate without a deficit in the early stages. But I’m not the kind of guy who looks far into a 10-year plan. This league will be well positioned if there’s a work stoppage in the NFL in 2011. In that case, it will be a home run. If the league doesn’t have a work stoppage, it will still be a great product.
Darren: Did you buy any piece of this team?
Moglia: I don’t have any ownership investment. I didn’t think it was appropriate for me to do so since I didn’t want it to look like I was buying the job. I did take the president title – in fact I asked for it – because I think it plays into my skill set. My heart and soul will be about me being a football coach, but I think I can be valuable in the business role as well.
Darren: Hampton Roads has always been named as the next city where a professional team was going to move. It never happened. Why is it such a great sports city?
Moglia: It’s on the coast and there’s a lot of activity here. I can already tell the community already has a great appreciation for athletes and what sports is all about.
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