Spotlight Stories

July - The Hardees
June - The Kepples
May - The McMeekins
April - The Parkers
February - The Gaskins
January - The Blairs

CAF Member Spotlight (July 2017) - The Hardees

FEATURED CAF MEMBERS OF THE MONTH - July 2017

Are you alumni of Coastal Carolina University? If so what year did you graduate?

Craig graduated from CCU in 1999 with a major in finance and a minor in marketing. "I fought the 501 summer traffic to take May and Summer classes to finish in three years. Looking back, I don't know why I was in such a hurry."

Richelle graduated the following year with a physical education degree.

What made you become a Chanticleer fan?

I've always felt like Coastal was home for me. I can remember coming to baseball games here when the Myrtle Beach Blue Jays used to play here. My Mom graduated from here when it was Coastal Carolina College in 1975 as a Gamecock. You could say that I've watched our chicken evolve into a mighty Chanticleer!

What do you look forward to the most about coming to a Coastal game?

I really enjoy the fellowship and tailgating before and after the games. Richelle and I have 3 children ages 14, 11 and 7. There is always something for each of them to do and they really look forward to going.

What are your children's favorite aspects of attending the games?

-Our oldest daughter Emma (14), enjoys hanging out with her friends.
-Our son, Hayden (11), loves everything about Coastal football. He attends the summer (BAM) football camp and has gotten to know some of the players and coaches personally. The tailgating food rates pretty high with him also.
-Our youngest daughter, Layna (7), enjoys watching the dance team and cheerleaders.

What makes you most proud of Coastal Carolina?

The way Coastal has grown and has planned for future growth makes me proud to be a Chanticleer. It also makes me feel like a proud parent when I'm out of town somewhere wearing my Coastal attire and someone says, " How about them Chanticleers?"

What made you decide to become a member of the Chanticleer Athletic Foundation (CAF)?

Just being able to show my support not only to the University, but also to the different athletic programs at Coastal has always been important to me.

If you could describe your game day experience in three words what would they be?

I'll diet Monday .


CAF Member Spotlight (June 2017) - The Kepples

FEATURED CAF MEMBERS OF THE MONTH - June 2017

Are you alumni of Coastal Carolina University? If so what year did you graduate, and were you or any member of your family an athlete at CCU? If so, what sport(s)?

Yes, I graduated from Coastal Carolina University in 2006. My wife, Brittany and I were both athletes at Coastal. I played football during my time at the University while she pitched for the softball team.

What is your favorite memory when you were playing at CCU?

My favorite memory is when the No. 1 ranked/defending national champion James Madison Dukes came into Conway and took a huge loss courtesy of the Chanticleers.

What is the biggest difference from being an athlete at CCU to now cheering for the athletes of CCU?

The biggest difference from cheering for vs. playing is the tailgating. I absolutely love the atmosphere/buzz around campus hours before a big football game. During my playing days game day was always so intense. It is a lot more relaxing knowing your only responsibility is cheering on your team to victory. Sometimes I wake up just as sore from the tailgate.

What do you look forward to the most about coming to a Coastal game?

The thing I look forward to the most when I go to a Coastal game is tailgating with all the former players and their wives. It is always great to see close friends. I am also very much looking forward to traveling to Arkansas to watch the Chants battle the Razorbacks this November. A former football player,Maurice Simpkins , and I are organizing a trip to this game for Chanticleer Fans. We would like nothing more than to arrive in Arkansas on a chartered flight, with 160 Chanticleer fanatics, and beat the Razorbacks on homecoming night in Fayetteville. We have started a website that allows fans to sign up for this trip. It is www.ultimatefanexp.com . It is going to be exciting to see our Chanticleers battle an SEC opponent. We have managed to put together a cost-effective, complete travel package for the weekend of November 4. Included is a chartered flight from Myrtle Beach directly to Fayetteville, hotel stays at a luxurious resort and casino, buses for ground transportation, game tickets, and a huge catered tailgate for all Coastal fans making the journey with us.

What are your children's favorite aspects of attending the games?

My son Kane's favorite thing about the games are going to the corner of the end zone and playing with other young kids under the blow up football helmet. He loves running around and playing football with his buddies. He has been going to Coastal games since he was 4 months old. I cannot wait to take my new born daughter to her first game this fall.

What makes you most proud of Coastal Carolina?

The overall continued success of the program makes me incredibly proud to be a part of Coastal. It is truly special to have started a program from absolute obscurity and watch it grow to the powerhouse it has become. It really was not that long ago when we were in a locker room in which 4 players had to share a locker. We used to have to travel all over Horry County just to find a place to practice. To go from those days to sitting back watching the vision unfold has been a blessing to see.

What made you decide to become a member of the Chanticleer Athletic Foundation (CAF)?

I became a member of the CAF for my love of the University. I recognize that no athletics program can achieve greatness without a backing from past alumni helping take it to the next level. CAF is the way that allows fans to push Coastal athletics to new heights.

If you could describe your game day experience in three words what would they be?

Three words that describe my game day experience is Ultimate Fanatic Experience. I try to have the most fun any fan should be allowed to have at any game. We tailgate hard and cheer hard for our team to deliver victories.

Why do you feel it is important to support Coastal Carolina University through the CAF?

I support the CAF so our team can achieve greatness. You will never have a great team without a fan base that fully supports their team. A CAF membership is just one way to show your support as a Chanticleer Fan.


CAF Member Spotlight (May 2017) - The McMeekins

FEATURED CAF MEMBERS OF THE MONTH - May 2017

Are you alumni of Coastal Carolina University? If so what year did you graduate?
Yes, 2007

What made you become a Chanticleer fan?


I have been a Chant fan for as long as I can remember!!

What is your favorite memory of Coastal Carolina Athletics?

Winning the CWS series. There was no feeling like it. Such a big moment for all Chanticleer fans

In your opinion, what is the best part of a home football game at CCU on a fall Saturday?

The fellowship and seeing all the TEAL!!

What makes you most proud of Coastal Carolina?

I don't think I can narrow it down to just one thing. Everything about CCU makes me proud to support them.

If you could describe your game day experience in three words what would they be?

Excitement, Pride, Enjoyable

What made you decide to start supporting the education of current Coastal Carolina student-athletes through the Chanticleer Athletic Foundation (CAF)?

Initially, Rhett Grahamhelped us understand the CAF mission and once we understood how the CAF and its' members can truly have an impact on the young men and women of CCU and CCU athletics- we were sold! It is a great thing!

What advice would you give to other members of the Chanticleer family who are wondering what they can do to help the Chanticleer Athletic Foundation and Coastal Carolina athletics as a whole?

This is a GREAT foundation and they do an amazing job for the student athletes. The foundations' spirit of excellence is felt not only by the students, but it is felt all throughout the community.


CAF Member Spotlight (April 2017) - The Parkers

FEATURED CAF MEMBERS OF THE MONTH - April 2017

Stan and Denise Parker
Socastee, S.C.
Member since 2002

What year did you graduate from Coastal Carolina?

Stan graduated in 1983 and Denise graduated in 1998. Their daughter, Sarah, is a current musical theatre major and set to graduate in 2018.

What made you become a Chanticleer fan?

We have been fans since attending CCU.

What is your favorite memory of Coastal Carolina Athletics?

The 12 days we spent in Omaha when the baseball team won the National Championship.

What was your favorite part of your first Sun Belt Championship (2017 Men's Basketball Championship)?

We were happy to be there with our family and celebrate our first Sun Belt Tournament win.

What makes you most proud to be a part of Teal Nation?

The growth of Coastal Carolina and see how the Chanticleers compete on a national level.

What made you decide to start supporting the education of current Coastal Carolina student-athletes through the Chanticleer Athletic Foundation (CAF)?

We attended a dinner at Baxley Hall a few years ago with student-athletes and other contributors. That experience made us realize how important it is to help further the education of the student-athletes.

What advice would you give to other members of the Chanticleer family who are wondering what they can do to help the Chanticleer Athletic Foundation and Coastal Carolina athletics as a whole?

It's not how much you give, but it's what you give. Also, people being at the games and cheering on the Chanticleers shows the student-athletes our support.



CAF Member Spotlight (Feb. 2017) - The Gaskins

FEATURED CAF MEMBERS OF THE MONTH - February 2017

Randy and Leigh Anne Gaskins
Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Owners of Plants Direct in Conway
Member since 2012, Season ticket holders since 2004

What year did you graduate from Coastal Carolina and what was your area of study?

Leigh Anne Gaskins (formally Leigh Anne Thompson) graduated in 1998 with a degree in Early Childhood Education.

What made you become a Chanticleer fan?

When the football team was established, we were invited by friends to attend a game. We loved the warm CCU family atmosphere of the University and immediately wanted to be more involved. We bought season tickets for multiple sports and tailgating became a welcomed event with family and friends. Each week, we plan our menus and our teal outfits. We look forward to the change of seasons as it brings us football, soccer and volleyball in the fall. Winter brings us basketball and right around the corner baseball is beginning while spring blooms. We wish we had more time to attend other athletic events such as softball, tennis, golf, lacrosse and track & field. However, being a member of the CAF we know we are supporting all the CCU athletic programs.

What makes you most proud of Coastal Carolina?

The growth of the campus and student body makes us proud. The staff support to students and, in turn, the success of the student body is crucial to keep Coastal moving forward. A key aspect of the University is just how diverse and welcoming it is in regards to students from other communities and countries.

What made you decide to start supporting the education of current Coastal Carolina student-athletes through the Chanticleer Athletic Foundation (CAF)?

We believe a student-athlete should see themselves not only as athletes with potential to succeed but also as students with potential to succeed. We believe the Chanticleer Athletic Foundation holds the promise of helping student-athletes succeed in higher education as well as athletics. Being a part of a group whose purpose is to enhance young lives was something in which we wanted to contribute. Over the past few years, we have witnessed student-athletes demonstrate leadership, responsibility, independence and commitment which are characteristics needed in life.

What advice would you give to other members of the Chanticleer family who are wondering what they can do to help the Chanticleer Athletic Foundation and Coastal Carolina athletics as a whole?

We would like other members of the Chanticleer family to know the commitment of the Chanticleer Athletic Foundation to upgrading and improving the student-athlete experience has been nothing short of remarkable. It is exciting to see and be part of the growth and upcoming chapters of CCU student-athletes. It's great to be serving the students in such an amazing place. We look forward to the future of both the CAF and CCU!


CAF Member Spotlight (Jan. 2017) - The Blairs

Jan. 6, 2017

FEATURED CAF MEMBERS OF THE MONTH - January 2017

Robert and Vicki Blair
Surfside Beach, S.C.
Members since 2003

What made you become a Chanticleer fan?

Some believe that fandom is determined by geography and we were initially guilty of that. Trips to see our Tar Heels became full weekend endeavors. Most of the time spent on the road was traveling to and from our home and not in experiencing the joy that is Chapel Hill. While we followed CCU sports from a distance, we admit that the addition of football finally brought us to the table. We bought season tickets that first year and what started as a whim has become a full-blown obsession. From that initial tailgate when we sat in the rain with two folding chairs and a bucket of chicken, we have morphed into true Chanticleers. But are we fans or are we supporters? We buy all things teal, from clothing to decor. We schedule around games and plan tailgate menus weeks in advance. Attending sporting events is a given but there is also a duty to engage emotionally in the life of athletics, allowing for us to form and maintain strong friendships that might otherwise not exist. These social bonds are very strong and, in some cases, seem almost like family. We feel that we aren't just spectators, but participants that enjoy living the experience of CCU athletics. So call us fans or supporters or both. We feel that fandom is almost a rite of passage involving years of "instruction" and "practice," and demonstrating your true passion and loyalty. We still cheer for our beloved Tar Heels, but we are Chanticleers through and through.

What is your favorite memory of Coastal Carolina Athletics?

Trying to think of one favorite memory over the course of many years as devoted Chanticleer fans is not easy. There have been so many wonderful memories and each stands out for a different reason. It could be that very first football game when we stood in awe and, yes, disbelief, that we were really going to win that game. It could be all of the athletic road trips following the Chants. It could be watching us win the Big South basketball tournament two years in a row in our beautiful new HTC Center. It could be the two trips that we made to Omaha and the examples go on and on. In the end, we decided that we simply cannot choose one favorite memory because all of them are so valuable to us. And we hope that we are blessed with the opportunity to make many more

What makes you most proud of Coastal Carolina?

CCU is a place of amazing abundance with leadership and staff responding to student interest and initiative by providing the resources to teach and fortify in every way imaginable. We truly believe that CCU is creating one of the most varied and talented human communities among southeastern universities. Students are encouraged to open themselves to each other, teach each other and discover what they can accomplish together. For all that this University has accomplished in a relatively short period of time, from academics to athletics, from uniting the community to inspiring spirit and enthusiastic loyalty, we should all be bursting with pride. CCU represents us all with dignity and honor so let's remember that "Coastal Rising" stands for more than just athletics!

What made you decide to start supporting the education of current Coastal Carolina student-athletes through the Chanticleer Athletic Foundation (CAF)?

Believing wholeheartedly in "Student before Athlete," we know that CCU coaches and staff also believe that their primary goal is to help scholar-athletes receive an education that prepares them for life beyond sports. This has been proven by the admirable GPA's earned by our student-athletes as well as the accomplishments many have gone on to achieve. We know that it could be easy to be consumed by sport over schoolwork or celebrity over scholarship. It is our belief that CCU athletes are among the hardest working students and view the sport as a complement to, not a replacement for, their studies. We want student¬-athletes to excel in the classroom just as they do on the court, field and arena. It is a privilege to provide support toward these efforts through the Chanticleer Athletic Foundation. One of the best ways to improve the education of student-athletes is to give them the license to pursue academic goals by making it clear that society as a whole supports them in their academic endeavors.

What advice would you give to other members of the Chanticleer family who are wondering what they can do to help the Chanticleer Athletic Foundation and Coastal Carolina athletics as a whole?

Obviously, supporting your college team is a great way, and sometimes the most obvious way, to express pride in your university. Student-athletes are encouraged by the crowds attending the games, the cheers from the stands, the wearing of school colors and the singing of school songs. What some forget is the less obvious – but just as important – way of showing pride by supporting the mission of the Chanticleer Athletic Foundation, which advocates for endowments, capital projects and other needs as prioritized by the CCU Department of Athletics. This will only be accomplished by reaching out to and depending upon alumni and friends. We feel that the entire Chanticleer family has a deep love for Coastal resulting in their desire to see this institution succeed in all aspects of college life. Philanthropic giving, on any level, is essential in making the overall student-athlete experience possible. Our student-athletes deserve the best, both academically and athletically. So, if you feel the same way, we encourage every member of Chanticleer Nation to find a way to support CCU athletics through an avenue of giving. Every gift, in any amount, makes an essential impact in supporting the success of our student-athletes and helps them reach their goals and realize their dreams.

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