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-ti-clear. You may also hear Coastal's athletic teams referred to as Chants (SHONTS) to shorten the Chanticleer nickname.
OK, now that you can say Chanticleer, would you like to know about this famous mascot and just how Coastal Carolina rates such a unique athletic moniker.
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.
Now, the picture of Chanticleer is clear. As Chanticleer proves in the Nun's Priest Tale, he is much more than a pretty face. He uses his great wit, knowledge, and cunning to come out on top every time. This makes Chanticleer a perfect fit for Coastal Carolina Athletics. Chanticleer epitomizes a CCU student-athlete in every way. From his athletic and strong build, to his vast knowledge, to his mindset to always finish on top, Chanticleer is the mirror image of CCU's Chanticleers.
History of Chanticleer at Coastal Carolina University
In the early 1960s, Coastal’s athletic teams were known as the Trojans until a group of Coastal students and their English professor brought up the idea of a new mascot. At that time, Coastal was a two-year branch of the University of South Carolina (USC) and many people began to push for a nickname that was more closely related to the Gamecock. Thus, the Chanticleer was born, giving Coastal a mascot that resembles the Gamecock, but gave the growing college its own identity.
On July 1, 1993, Coastal Carolina University was established, ending the institution’s 33-year affiliation with USC. Some people thought that it was time to send the Chanticleer packing and make a complete split from USC. But, as he had before Coastal Carolina gained its independence and as he has since that time, the Chanticleer continues to overcome battles and reigns supreme. The Chanticleer has won the hearts of students, alumni and all Coastal fans and remains one of the most unique mascots in all of collegiate athletics.
A more complete history of the Chanticleer – entitled “Anatomy of a Mascot” – is found in the following issue of Coastal Carolina University Magazine.