Longtime radio announcer Hogue named interim athletics director at Coastal Carolina [The Sun News (Myrtle Beach, S.C.) :: ]
(Sun News (Myrtle Beach, SC) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) March 12--CONWAY -- Coastal Carolina University President David DeCenzo has selected a familiar name -- and voice -- to lead the school's athletics department for at least the near future.
Longtime Chanticleer radio announcer Matt Hogue will take over as Coastal's interim director of athletics, the school announced Wednesday, after DeCenzo had stated last week that he would hold off on conducting a national search for the position in favor of elevating an in-house selection for an indeterminate period of time.
As part of a restructuring of the department, Coastal football coach Joe Moglia has also been asked to serve as Chair of the Athletics Division "to lead the strategic review of athletics and its alignment with the university's comprehensive strategic plan," as DeCenzo explained in a text message Wednesday morning.
In the formal news release that followed, DeCenzo commented, "The 'Voice of the Chanticleers' will now become the 'face of CCU athletics,'"
Hogue, who started at the university in 1997 and has most recently been serving as associate vice president of marketing in addition to his radio work, will fill the void left by outgoing director of athletics Hunter Yurachek, who departs this month for a position at the University of Houston after more than four years in Conway.
The interim period is expected to last through at least the next academic year, and DeCenzo said "it's too early to tell" if Hogue might become the long-term choice for the job. It seems that possibility does exist, though, based on how both sides feel a year from now.
"It was funny that every time I would speak with somebody, Matt Hogue's name came up," DeCenzo said by phone later in the day. "Even in Indianapolis [for NCAA meetings] his name came up with an individual there. I knew I was going to have to put an interim in because of Hunter's departure this week, but the more I got to thinking about it, the more I talked with coaches, other stakeholders, with what we're doing in the strategic plan, it just seemed to make sense to go with a longer-term interim and get some things lined up to ensure that we are thoroughly coordinating with all aspects of the university. ...
"I was getting considerable input from individuals who felt that Matt Hogue was the right person at the right time."
Hogue initially started nearly two decades ago as the school's assistant sports information director for two years before moving on to larger roles in the athletics department and the office of university communication, including leading the Chants' marketing and trademark-licensing efforts. Popular among the fan base, he has been a staple on Coastal sports broadcasts throughout that time while also doing play-by-play work for the Big South Conference.
He confirmed he will step away from radio work after the Coastal men's basketball team finishes its NCAA tournament run so he can focus on his new, larger responsibilities.
"It's a tremendous opportunity. I've been a part of the growth at this institution and seen so many terrific things happen, and now to have an opportunity to assume this type of leadership role is truly exciting," he said during an afternoon news conference inside The HTC Center. "It's a privilege. I can't wait to get to work. Certainly we face a lot of challenges in the world of college athletics these days, but it's still a job that brings a lot of fun and a lot of joy to this community and I'm going to be very excited to be out on the front of that."
Moglia, who joined Hogue at the news conference, echoed DeCenzo's comments about the significant support within the athletic department for this move.
"Literally, now I did not have an opportunity to talk to everybody, but every coach I spoke to had told me that they thought Matt would be an incredible person to get consideration for this spot," Moglia said. "And he's had some association in one way or another in many, many different roles for 17 years with our institution. So frankly when you actually think of it, you look at his resume and you're aware of the support that he had on campus, he couldn't be a better choice for that. And I'm not sure he's aware of how much support he actually had behind the scenes."
As for Moglia's own added role, he emphasized that Hogue "is the guy that's going to run athletics at Coastal Carolina" and that his first priority remains coaching the football program. He said he expects to be a sounding board of sorts for Hogue and DeCenzo.
Moglia, who is the former CEO and present chairman of TD Ameritrade, recently completed his second season as Coastal's football coach, taking the Chants to new heights with a 12-3 finish and two NCAA Football Championship Subdivision playoff victories in 2013.
"I've had the good fortune that I've spent over two decades in athletics as a football coach and also over two decades in the business world," Moglia said. "So I think I'm capable of bringing some experiences and skillsets to the table that hopefully can bring a little extra value to Matt and the university."
In explaining his impetus for going with this outside-the-box leadership model in an extended interim capacity, DeCenzo reiterated what he had said last week about needing to align the athletic department with the university's overall long-term strategic goals.
Reading between the lines, part of the re-evaluation of the department will focus on the money being spent on athletics and how it is allocated, relative to other schools of Coastal's size and stature as well as the needs of the university as a whole.
"Joe Moglia brings unbelievable skillsets to Coastal and clearly his business acumen is such that he has taken organizations that were doing OK and just helped make them flourish through a lot of strategic planning, a lot of reallocating of resources [and] making the best of a situation as it exists," DeCenzo said. "And quite frankly when people were giving me feedback on Matt, in the next breath they were saying that we really needed to tap into Joe's skillset, especially as it related to this whole aspect of the strategic alignment.
"I've spoken with both of them as all this was rolling out. I want Matt dedicated to the work that he needs to do as the athletics director, but there is a critical role that I see Joe playing in terms of this overarching strategic plan, and I think quite frankly there is a great opportunity for Matt to have a mentoring relationship."
Hogue had previously applied for the athletics director position when Yurachek was hired in 2010.
While he said his broadcasting work will always have a place in his heart, he's eager for the new challenge that awaits, noting "You can't worry too much about what you're leaving behind; you've got to look forward."
It has not been determined yet how Coastal will fill Hogue's void in that capacity.
As for his new position, Hogue admitted he wasn't necessarily thinking about this possibility when he arrived at Coastal in 1997.
"When I started here way back when, I was just happy to have a job in college athletics, but I think that's how a lot of people start out in this business," he said. "They work their way up through the years. They may move around a little bit more to reach an ultimate goal. Fortunately here, there was so much going on and this place has been so terrific and vibrant for close to 20 years that there were a lot of reasons to stay around. ...
"Obviously I never envisioned this, but as you go through your career and you become more and more competent and you learn all of the intricacies and the competencies it takes for a job like this, you become confident that, 'Hey, I can do that.' Obviously at this point my time has come to give that my best shot."
He stated that he believes the Coastal athletic department is in a strong position as he takes over for Yurachek. As for his top priorities over the next year or so, he seconded DeCenzo's past comments on needing to thoroughly evaluate big-picture matters and the changing landscape of intercollegiate athletics from the top down, any "reclassification and restratification" that may be coming and how that may impact Coastal.
He also referred to the new leadership structure DeCenzo has created for the athletic department as "probably as innovative as any structure we see in America" because of the assets Moglia brings to the table.
In terms of his long-term future and possibly shedding the interim tag at some point, Hogue said it's not a factor in his thought process as he begins this new job.
"Interim is one of those interesting words that I think people draw a lot of different interpretations from," he said. "For me, that's really not going to change how I approach my job. I'm going to go at it with the zeal and the approach that I'm the full-time guy. I'm not going to worry about the interim position. We're going to work hard, be aggressive, do all the things we can to take Coastal Carolina to even further heights whether I'm an interim or full-time or permanent -- whatever the label is."
Contact RYAN YOUNG at 626-0318, or follow him on Twitter at Twitter.com/RyanYoungTSN.
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