Football at Coastal Carolina University has come a long way in a relatively short time. The school began its football program in 2003, joining the Big South Conference in the NCAA's Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) and becoming a national power that defeated such teams as James Madison (No. 1 at the time), Furman, Wofford and Montana, all while winning seven Big South titles.
But the Chanticleers - named after a small rooster mentioned in "Canterbury Tales" - aspired to more, and in 2015-16 moved to the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) and the Sun Belt Conference. In 2018, Coastal attained full bowl eligibility, forging rivalries with Sun Belt foes Appalachian State and Georgia Southern, and will play such teams as Kansas, Army and UCLA starting in 2020. The Chants' James C. Benton Field at Brooks Stadium will expand to 20,000 seats in 2019.
How to enjoy a Chanticleers football weekend, inside or outside the stadium:
Getting tickets - Tickets are available for Coastal Carolina home games via the school's ticket office or by calling 877-4CHANTS.
Where to eat before the game - A favorite spot for alumni and students is Rotelli Pasta and Pizza, located across US 501 from the campus.
Where to buy Coastal Carolina gear - CCU's Official Bookstore in the HTC Center carries plenty of items and has sales points around the stadium on game day.
Where to tailgate with Chanticleers fans - Two places where Chants faithful congregate are the primary parking lot between Brooks Stadium and the baseball stadium, and Blanton Park, a grass-and-tree-filled area in the center of campus modeled on The Grove at Ole Miss.
Where to purchase your tailgate fare - Fried chicken from Bojangles and barbecue from Bonfire Tanqueria are staples, but longtime CCU fans love fresh seafood from the Sea Captain's House and the Chesapeake House, both in nearby Myrtle Beach.
Best Coastal Carolina game day rituals - The team mascot, Chauncey the Chanticleer, leads the team onto the field while riding a small motorcycle. After victories, the school band plays the fight song as students ring the Victory Bell outside the stadium.
What they're singing or dancing to - To celebrate big plays and/or scores, CCU's public address system plays "Rooster," by Seattle grunge/rock band Alice in Chains.