CCU embraces role of new kids on the Sun Belt block

Coastal Carolina played the part of new kid on the block at Monday’s Sun Belt Conference Football Media Days, even bringing a fresh face to the podium to represent the Chanticleers at their inaugural visit to the annual pigskin kickoff party at the SuperDome in New Orleans.

At this time last year, Jamey Chadwell was at the Big South Conference Media Days touting his Charleston Southern squad. After giving up the head coaching job to join Coastal as offensive coordinator, Chadwell sat in for head coach Joe Moglia, who is recovering from a surgical procedure, to address the assembled media.

Of course, being the new guy has its pitfalls, like a lack of respect Coastal’s prior success at the FCS level. The Chants were picked to finish dead last in the 12-team conference, providing some fuel to the fire for Coastal to step up to the competition at the FBS mid-major level.

“I think you can use that as motivation, but you know, we knew obviously that being a new member that, and not a lot of people knowing about us and going off of our FCS records, that we were probably going be picked there,” Chadwell told reporters. “So I’m sure it’s something that we can use in some ways, ‘Hey these people are doubting you,’ and anytime you can have a chip on your shoulder it helps you.”

Chadwell handled himself well amid a sea of new faces and tough questions that are normally reserved for the head man in charge. However, his previous success as a head coach and his quick transition to an assistant role have convinced his new players that Chadwell is in it to win it.

“He has been doing an awesome job,” said Osharmar Abercrombie, a senior running back for the Chants who also has big shoes to fill with the departure of CCU all-time leading rusher De’Angelo Henderson. “I guess it’s a little weird for him going from head coach to offensive coordinator, but he has been doing a great job.”

Still, Chadwell made it clear that he was merely holding the wheel for Moglia until his impending return to the sidelines. When one reporter asked about Coastal Carolina’s recent run of success, he credited Moglia for creating a winning culture that both hope to continue.

“Our head coach is 51-15 in five years so our expectation is to win, and that’s what we expect to do no matter if we’re making this jump or not,” Chadwell said. “You’ll see our team play that way and I think you’ll be surprised of the product that we put on the field.”

Coastal opens the 2017 season at home on Sept. 2 with a non-conference contest against Massachusetts.

Photo by Derick Hingle/Sun Belt Conference

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