CCU Athletics updates Board of Trustees on growth, projects

Updated: May. 9, 2019 at 10:03 PM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - As state lawmakers continue to debate how much universities can raise tuition, the Coastal Carolina University Board of Trustees chose not to vote Thursday on any budget approvals at this time.

Coastal Carolina Athletic Director Matt Hogue said the university has always been supportive of the athletic department and has used athletics to showcase the university through events like the Sun Belt Championship and Myrtle Beach Invitational.

The athletics department would have received a small percentage of tuition funding, had the board of trustees approved a 2.8% increase.

However, things like a tuition increase is something the athletic department can’t control.

Instead, Hogue is focusing on revenue streams they can control such as season ticket packages, athletic apparel sales, alumni donations and updating facilities.

“We are pleased with our support, obviously it’s something you want to grow and that’s the whole idea but I don’t think we would be at this point now if we weren't in a vibrant area that is growing,” said Hogue.

During his presentation to the board of trustees, Hogue focused on construction updates to facilities, ticket sales and highlighted several sports teams accomplishments.

“We have 19 sports and all of them matter tremendously,” said Hogue.

Currently season ticket sales for football and baseball are up compared to 2018.

The Chanticleer Athletic Foundation played a major factor by working with alumni and donors to sell tickets for suites at the renovated Brooks Stadium. There are currently 230 seats that are in that new suites and there’s less than 60 available.

“We have premier experiences for our fans that we never had so we’re pretty excited about that,” said Chris Johnson, executive director of the Chanticleer Athletic Foundation.

The department is also working to generate revenue by hosting national sporting events such as the Myrtle Beach Invitational, Sun Belt Championship and the future Myrtle Beach Bowl in 2020.

“We have to step up and make sure our resources and our facilities are top notch can work with some of those events,” said Hogue.

Along with events, alumni and donors have played a crucial role in generating revenue for the success of athletics.

“Right here in our backyard, whether it’s the alumni, the students, our faculty and staff, retirees or the community, they’re getting behind us, but alumni have really taken initiative in driving that,” said Johnson.

The board will wais to approve a budget during a special meeting at a later date and feels plenty of support from the board and university.

“I’m very thankful for the resources we have and I think we’re very strong in that area so that’s not something I feel we are struggling with. Certainly every year brings challenges and you have to be able to meet those challenges. If something changes and you have to make those adjustments you do that. That’s what we do in athletics all the time so I don’t think this would be any different,” said Hogue.

The board is expected to hold that special meeting later in June.

As for the athletic department, they will be hosting the NCAA Regional Men’s Golf Championship at TPC Myrtle Beach next week.

The following week, the Sun Belt Baseball Championship is at Springs Brooks Stadium and construction on the football stadium renovations is expected to wrap up by mid-June.

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