CCU's Moglia inspires, prepares players in "Life After Football"

CONWAY, SC (WBTW) - Earning a spot on Coastal Carolina's football team takes a lot of hard work, dedication and motivation - and once that happens, it's a big commitment.

Not all time is spent inside the walls of Brooks Stadium, though. Some of it is spent in "Life After Football."

The unique program developed by CCU Head Football Coach Joe Moglia helps develop his players into educated, knowledgeable and prepared men. Think of it as Life 101.

"It's not just a matter of winning a game," Moglia told News13. "It's a matter of having an impact on people's lives."

Moglia's "Life After Football" sessions started shortly after he took over as head ball coach for the Chanticleers. Each week during the season, Moglia takes his team off the field for 30 minutes of lessons in living. What Moglia and guest speakers talk about depends on what's happening in the world or in store for the future - terrorism, finances, responsibility, sex, drugs, making right decisions.

It's all fair game.

"How do you handle it when you have a sick parent?" he asked. "How do you handle it when you have a brother or loved one whose incarcerated? How do you handle the risk associated with drugs or sex or alcohol? These are all things that have an impact on all of us - but certainly our guys."

News13 visited Moglia and his team for this week's "Life After Football" session that focused on November's presidential election and the upcoming debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Moglia, among many things, stressed to his team the impact their votes have on the future of our country.

Moglia says these simple talks spark curiosity and strike emotion in some of his players. Each have their own plans for life after college, but what's talked about each week proves a reality his players need to be ready for. Life and football aren't the same.

"That, without question, is the real, real mission we have. What kind of foundation can we help our guys lay so they can live a life where they're productive and they're happy and they feel good about who they are? We can do that through football, but the priority is what happens afterwards," he said.

The head coach says it's past players, though, who are proof his philosophy of personal development off the field works.

"Where we really see it is in the guys I coached 25, 30 years ago. Or the guys I just coached two years ago that constantly come back and say, 'Coach, you know, the things we went over have made a difference in my life. I'm teaching that to my kids.' That's what I'm trying to do," he explained.

And when that happens, Moglia says there's nothing better than the satisfaction of knowing he's made a difference.

"Football is a game," he said. "We're talking about having an impact on their lives. At the end of the day, that's really why I do it. I want them to be happy and they're not going to be happy if they're not doing something they really love doing and they feel good about themselves. Taking the rest of their lives - it's a pretty serious thing."

Moglia holds dozens of "Life After Football" sessions during the regular season and spring practice season. He says it's one of the only programs of its kind in the country integrated into a football program.

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