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Fall Saturdays in the South were meant for college football, and the Grand Strand has its own home team to root for this season at Coastal Carolina University in nearby Conway. Guests at The Caribbean Resort & Villas in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, can get the full college football experience this fall by enjoying some rest and relaxation on the oceanfront and some high-level college pigskin on the charming CCU campus.
While many college football fans on the Grand Strand have had to choose sides between the only two FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) programs in the state - defending national champion Clemson University in the Atlantic Coast Conference and the University of South Carolina in the Southeastern Conference - locals and visitors alike now have their own home/vacation team to support as Coastal Carolina moves up from the FCS (Football Championship Subdivision).
The Chanticleers, with a rooster mascot inspired by poet Geoffrey Chaucer's "The Canterbury Tales," move from the Big South Conference to the Sun Belt Conference this season, bringing a whole new level of talent and excitement to CCU's Brooks Stadium. In fact, Coastal Carolina is wrapping up an expansion and renovation project that will nearly double the stadium's seating capacity from just over 9,000 to more than 15,000, and the Chants need to fill the seats this fall.
That shouldn't be a problem given the higher-profile opponents that will visit the Myrtle Beach area this year. Coastal kicks off the 2017 season at home against the University of Massachusetts at 7 p.m. on Sept. 2. The Chants' highly anticipated debut at the FBS level, the unveiling of the new and improved Brooks Stadium, and the head coaching debut of interim coach Jamey Chadwell have the Grand Strand community fired up for supporting the Chants.
Chadwell, who served as head coach at rival Charleston Southern last season, came to Coastal Carolina in the off-season to serve as offensive coordinator for the Chants. But when head coach Joe Moglia was forced to take a leave of absence this season to address medical issues, Chadwell was quickly promoted to the top spot and faces the daunting task of leading the Chants into the toughest schedule in the history of the program.
Coastal Carolina has a series of special promotions scheduled for the 2017 campaign. Following the Sept. 2 season opener against UMass, the Chants play host to Western Illinois on Sept. 23 for Youth Day, which offers free souvenirs and discounted admission for kids. Coastal plays its Sun Belt Conference home opener Oct. 7 against Georgia State for CCU Family Weekend, when parents and siblings of students visit campus and spend some time on the beach.
Coastal's homecoming is set for Oct. 28 against Texas State, and the weeklong festivities include all the traditional college events - floats, parades, marching bands, pep rallies, tailgating and more. Following a tough road trip to face SEC power Arkansas, the Chants play host to Troy on Nov. 11 for a fitting Veterans Day tribute at Military Appreciation Day and Hall of Fame Day, when former CCU greats are enshrined in the school's athletic hall. Coastal Carolina closes the regular season Dec. 2 against Georgia Southern, and for the first time in program history a bowl bid could be on the line.
Following a fun day of tailgating and cheering for the Chants, guests at The Caribbean Resort & Villas can return to the seaside oasis and unwind from all the excitement. Relax at the beach or on our heated indoor/outdoor pool decks, or kick back in the comfort of your room or on your private oceanfront balcony and recover from a fun-filled fall day of college football. For CCU ticket information, visit http://www.goccusports.com