COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — New Coastal Carolina coach Joe Moglia understands that in football, just like on Wall Street, results matter.
So the man nicknamed "the billionaire coach" for the money he made in the past two decades in the financial market understands the best way to earn love from Chanticleers fans who may still be loyal to fired coach and football program founder David Bennett is to win, starting with the season opener Saturday against North Carolina A&T.
"I think everybody is pretty much excited now," Moglia said. We just have to make sure we won't let them down."
In other games Saturday involving South Carolina's Football Championship Subdivision teams, The Citadel hosts Charleston Southern; Furman travels to Samford; Wofford is at Gardner-Webb; and Presbyterian hosts Brevard.
South Carolina State opened the season Thursday at the Georgia Dome, beating Georgia State 33-6.
In Conway, Moglia will try to show the unorthodox decision to get rid of Bennett, who built the program from scratch, made two FCS playoffs, won four Big South Conference titles and went 7-4 in 2011 and 63-39 in nine seasons, was the right one. Moglia's only head coaching experience was a 1-4 stint as head coach of the Omaha Nighthawks of the United Football League. He left coaching in 1983, spending the next 17 years with Merrill Lynch, before heading to TD Ameritrade and turning it into a $10 billion venture
"We have the best interests of this university and our kids at heart," Moglia said. "Anybody that cares about this place, it should be their priority too. How they feel about me, I can't worry too much about that."
On the field, Moglia was left with plenty of pieces. South Carolina transfer Aramis Hilary will lead an up-tempo offense that includes preseason all-Big South picks at tight end and receiver.
In Charleston, The Citadel and Charleston Southern will play each other for the first time in five years.
The Buccaneers are trying to end a 12-game losing streak, the longest in Division I football. The only time Charleston Southern beat the Bulldogs was in 2006, when the victory was the 14th straight for the Buccaneers, at the time, the longest winning streak in the country.
Charleston Southern coach Jay Mills is saying the same things he did during last year's lost season — that success isn't always measured by wins, but the pursuit of excellence. But he also said his team looked much better in fall camp this season and is dealing with fewer injuries.
"I think we're finally hitting on all cylinders," Mills said.
The Citadel is in its third year of putting in an option offense. The Bulldogs went 4-7 last year, but coach Kevin Higgins expects his players to run his scheme better this season. Mills said the Bulldogs may be one of the best FCS teams that Charleston Southern plays this year.