The Coastal Carolina Chanticleers will make their FBS debut on September 2nd when they take on the UMass Minutemen inside a newly renovated Brooks Stadium. Coastal spent last season as a FCS Independent as they could not compete for a FCS Playoff spot or a Big South title. Coastal Carolina football has had a good bit of success over the years as they have made some noise in the FCS ranks, an impressive feat for a program that's just 15 years old. Here are some facts aimed to help you get to know more about the program.
One thing is for sure— Coastal Carolina defiantly competes for the most unique mascot name award in the Sun Belt with the Chanticleer. I wanted to get this cleared up from the get-go because people will ask this question often. A Chanticleer is defined as “a name given to a rooster in fairy tales." Now before you laugh you have to give the school credit on the creativity factor of this name. Yes it does kind of overlap with South Carolina’s Gamecock nickname but hey its different and that is not a bad thing.
Coastal Carolina is led by former TD Ameritrade CEO Joe Moglia, who will be entering his sixth season as head man in Conway this fall. Moglia is only the second head coach in program history as he followed in the footsteps of David Bennett who coached from the program's inception in 2003 untill 2011. Moglia has had tremendous success at CCU as through five complete seasons he has a 51-15 record and won the Big South championship three times.
(CB) Josh Norman- 2008-2011, Currently plays for the Washington Redskins
(WR) Jerome Simpson- 2004-2007, Last played for the 49ers in 2016
(RB) Lorenzo Taliaferro- 2010-2013, Currently plays for the Baltimore Ravens
(FB) Mike Tolbert- 2004-2007, Signed with the Buffalo Bills in 2017
(QB) Tyler Thigpin- 2003-2006, Last played for the Cleveland Browns in 2014
(RB) De’Angelo Henderson- 2012-2016, Drafted by the Denver Broncos in the 6th round of the 2017 draft. Henderson also set a NCAA Division I record for touchdowns in consecutive games with 35.
Coastal Carolina began playing football in 2003 as a member of the Big South. In the Chants’ first season they went a respectable 6-5. In 2004 the program would hit the ground running as the Chants would finish 10-1, winning the first of three consecutive Big South titles as the team would go 9-2 and 9-3 in 2005 and 2006. Coastal would make its first FCS playoff appearance in 2006, but it would be short lived as the Chants would fall to eventual national champion Appalachian State 45-28 in Boone.
The program hit a bump in the road from 2007-2009 as in three straight seasons Coastal failed to make it back to the FCS playoffs or win a Big South title. In 2010, Coastal Carolina would win the Big South with a 6-6 record overall and a 5-1 conference record and head back to the playoffs. The Chants would fall to the Western Illinois Leathernecks 17-10 in the first round. That year also provided a record setting game for the program as the team battled Towson in a 5OT thriller in week two but Coastal would fall 47-45.
In 2011, Coastal Carolina would begin competitive as they raced to a 4-1 record but a string of three straight losses in Big South play doomed any chance Coastal would have at getting back into the playoffs or a Big South title. David Bennett would be dismissed at year’s end. The next season would be a good year for the Chants as they played FBS member Toledo tough and would once again win a Big South title. New head coach Joe Moglia would also lead Coastal to the FCS playoffs once again. Coastal would defeat Bethune Cookman 24-14 in the first round as that would be their first playoff win. CCU would fall to Old Dominion in the second round 63-35.
In 2013, Coastal Carolina had their best season in program history as they would go 10-2 and claim a Big South title. Coastal would also claim two wins in the playoffs over Bethune Cookman and FCS power Montana. Coastal would run into the dynasty known as North Dakota State in the quarterfinals and fall 48-14 in Fargo. Next fall would be another outstanding year for Moglia and company as CCU would finish 11-1, winning the Big South championship again. After topping Richmond in the second round, Coastal would once again fall to North Dakota State, this time a close 39-32 contest.
Finally, 2015 would be the last season that Coastal Carolina would play as a full-fledged member of the FCS. The Chants would finish 9-3 overall, but would fail to win a conference title. However, CCU would receive an at-large berth in the FCS playoffs but would fall to in -state rival The Citadel 41-38 in Conway. In 2016, Coastal Carolina would begin year one of a two-year FBS transition period to the Sun Belt. Coastal would play a Big South schedule, but would be considered a FCS Independent and could not qualify for the playoffs due to transition rules. Coastal Carolina finished 10-2, but easily could have been 12-0 as the two losses would be a pair of one-point defeats to 4th ranked Jacksonville State 27-26, and 10th ranked in state rival Charleston Southern 59-58 in double OT.
2017 will no doubt be a building year as I fully expect Coastal Carolina to suffer some tough losses especially in Sun Belt play. Coastal Carolina was picked to finish last in the 2017 Sun Belt coaches poll as many figured they would struggled to adjust to the rigors of FBS football. The Sun Belt has a history of newcomers having success right out of the gate (i.e App State & Georgia Southern), and Moglia has had tremendous success in his time in Conway so anything is possible. I believe the future is bright for CCU once they get established at the FBS level and pull recruits to the Myrtle Beach area in Conway. You may see the Chanticleers competing for a top spot in the soon-to-be Sun Belt East Division.