Coastal's athletic success at all-time high - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Coastal's athletic success at all-time high

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - The success of the Coastal Carolina University athletic programs has reached an all time high this season, and the Athletic Department has evolved to make sports thrive at the school.

Success in the school's athletics programs has given athletes and students a sense of pride in Coastal.

"Being an athlete here is great, and we love being together, says Roderick Holder, a defensive end on the football team at Coastal. "We are a close bunch and are family here. We have a lot of school spirit here so I really love being at Coastal Carolina," he says.

Since the early 1980's, the athletics program has expanded from 8 teams to now 18 teams. The expansion has given the school much more attention.

With the addition of more athletes, the school has been able to expand and renovate its facilities and academic programs to appeal to a much larger fan base.

"If we hadn't been successful back then, then they never would have thought we could do what we have done here, says Jess Dannelly, the Associate Athletic Director. "One helped feed the other," he said.

The growth of athletics at Coastal Carolina has stemmed from not only the students but the community that supports it. The University has gone from the ranks of several low divisions to now being a Division I participant.

All sports are now competing with teams from power conferences and the successes of the Chanticleers has created a larger fan base for the University.

"We have to educate them (the community) as to what we do," says Dannelly. "And slowly but surely, you will have more and more people that will begin to believe in teal."

The athletic department has continued upgrading its facilities on campus. The baseball stadium is being renovated and the HTC Center is now home to both the Men's and Women's basketball teams.

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