History of the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers Mascot

    The history of the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers mascot is as captivating as it is unique. Discover how the mascot found its way to Conway.

    Coastal Carolina is one of the top teams in the Group of Five and is known across the country for playing good football with a uniquely engaging mascot. With sandy surroundings and teal turf, the university has a special identity and a remarkable history.

    So how did a bird from a piece of 14th-century Middle English literature reach the shores of Conway as the Coastal Carolina mascot?

    Why is Coastal Carolina’s Mascot a Chanticleer?

    Before becoming an independent public university in 1993, Coastal Carolina was a branch campus of the University of South Carolina. The school was founded in 1954 as Coastal Carolina Junior College and became a part of the South Carolina family of schools, becoming known as USC Coastal Carolina in 1960.

    The campus had its own football team, nicknamed the Trojans, playing in red and white. However, after becoming affiliated with South Carolina, many on campus wanted a mascot that identified more closely with their parent university — the Gamecocks.

    The idea to change the mascot to a Chanticleer was touted by an English professor and the basketball coach, Cal Maddox, along with his students, and was adopted by the university.

    The changing of the mascot allowed Coastal Carolina to claim a unique identity while maintaining a connection to its parent college.

    When Coastal Carolina became independent on July 1, 1993, there was debate over keeping the Chanticleer.

    Some on campus wanted to cut all links to their former parent university and start fresh. Others saw the Chanticleer as a unique moniker in the college football landscape and an asset recognized worldwide.

    So the Chanticleer was kept. One of the most recognizable and unique sports mascots lives on in Coastal Carolina’s logo and live mascot, Chancey the Chanticleer.

    The ingrained identity of Chanticleer football, the school, and its history flow through its mascot, which represents the unique individuality and personality of the Conway community.

    What is a Chanticleer?

    A Chanticleer is a “proud and fierce rooster” depicted in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales classic The Nun’s Priest Tale and is the unique mascot of Coastal Carolina.

    You can be forgiven for not reading the book. But luckily, Maddox, along with his students, did, instantly connecting the definition with the university.

    Chaucer describes a Chanticleer as “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.”

    The Chanticleer survived the university’s independence, overcoming the odds to keep its rightful place as Coastal Carolina’s mascot. Named Chauncey in Maddox’s honor, the live mascot has attended home games at Brooks Stadium since 2011.

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    The Chanticleer continues to unite and inspire the Coastal Carolina community, gracing the hallowed teal turf in Conway and carrying on the Chanticleer’s accomplishment of having the most unique mascot in the sport.

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