The number one question asked of those associated with the Coastal Carolina University Department of Athletics is "What is a Chanticleer?". The second most asked question is "How do you pronounce your nickname?". Well, answering the second question first may make it a bit easier reading the remainder of this description of CCU's Chanticleer. The proper pronunciation is SHON-toh-clear. You may also hear Coastal's athletic teams referred to as Chants (SHONTS) to shorten the Chanticleer nickname.
Chanticleer comes from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. More specifically, he comes from the Nun's Priest Tale, a story within Canterbury Tales. The Chanticleer is a proud and fierce rooster who dominates the barnyard. For the best description of Chanticleer, we turn to Chaucer's words. "For crowing there was not his equal in all the land. His voice was merrier than the merry organ that plays in church, and his crowing from his resting place was more trustworthy than a clock. His comb was redder than fine coral and turreted like a castle wall, his bill was black and shone like a jet, and his legs and toes were like azure. His nails were whiter than the lily and his feathers were like burnished gold." With all of his splendor and great looks, Chanticleer is also greatly feared and mightily respected by all.
History of Chanticleer at Coastal Carolina University
Now, for the story of how the Chanticleer came to be the mascot of Coastal Carolina University Athletics. In the early 1960s, a group of Coastal students and their English professor brought up the idea of a new mascot. At the time, Coastal's athletic teams were known as the Trojans. With Coastal Carolina serving as a two-year branch of the University of South Carolina at the time, many people began to push for a nickname that was more closely related to USC's Gamecock. Thus, Chanticleer was born as one of the most unique mascots in collegiate athletic history. Chanticleer gave Coastal a mascot which resembles the Gamecock, but still gives the University it's own identity.
On July 1, 1993, USC-Coastal Carolina College became Coastal Carolina University by splitting from the branch system of the University of South Carolina. Some people thought that was the time to send the Chanticleer packing and make a complete split from USC. But, as he had before Coastal Carolina gained it's independenceand as he has since that time, the Chanticleer continues to overcome battles and reigns supreme. Chanticleer has made a name for himself and Coastal Carolina University around the world and has captured a place in the hearts of CCU fans.