CCU athletics renews the coaching, personnel positions lost to COVID

Coastal Carolina Senior Zack Taylor and Trainer Jim Garren stand on the ninth tee at The Dunes Golf and Beach Club as Taylor waits to play his final tee at the 19th General Hackler Championship on March 10, 2020.  Taylor won by two strokes with an 8 under 208.

Coastal Carolina Senior Zack Taylor and Trainer Jim Garren stand on the ninth tee at The Dunes Golf and Beach Club as Taylor waits to play his final tee at the 19th General Hackler Championship on March 10, 2020. Taylor won by two strokes with an 8 under 208.

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Coastal Carolina University athletes receive more support in their programs than they did last school year.

The school’s financial recovery from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has allowed it to re-establish a number of positions within the sports department that were eliminated in the summer and fall of 2020 due to COVID and the decline in enrollments.

Spurred on by the record number of new additions and the record funding for its 19 collegiate sports programs, the CCU was able to restore at least seven assistant coach positions and additional posts for auxiliary staff in the sports department and in the individual programs for the school year 2021-22.

“When we got to the point where we could start staffing from the institution’s point of view, we developed a step-by-step plan to restore what we could, first with coaching positions and from there to support areas such as trainers , Strength and stamina, whatever we’ve lost in that time, “said Matt Hogue, CCU vice president of Athletics and University Recreation. “Fortunately, the climate has turned and we were able to tackle this.”

In summer and autumn 2020, the university set up leave of absence for almost all employees and announced 36 campus-wide job cuts.

An analysis by The Sun News found that assistant coach positions have been cut in men’s soccer, women’s soccer, men’s tennis, women’s tennis, volleyball, men’s golf, and women’s golf. This left all golf and tennis programs without an assistant coach.

These coaching positions were all reinstated.

While the soccer team retained their eleven core coaching positions in 2020, the program lost a number of support staff positions as one office assistant position was cut and up to four support staff positions were open and could not be filled in analyst and assistant positions, according to head soccer coach Jamey Chadwell.

The football positions have been restored except for the office assistant position, Hogue said.

Other athletic support positions that were not filled in fall 2020 were, according to research by The Sun News, director of volleyball operations, men’s basketball video coordinator, men’s basketball specialist assistant for quality control, and women’s basketball video coordinator and an administrative assistant with responsibilities in volleyball, men’s basketball and women’s basketball.

Most were filled, though Hogue said there had been some job consolidation. By outsourcing multimedia sponsorship rights to a company, a full-time and a part-time position were also eliminated, Hogue said.

“They still have some residual impact, but all in all we’re very happy that things may have come back much faster and more robustly than we ever imagined,” said Hogue.

Reinstalling sports coaches was the second priority after coaches, and Hogue said the school was full again.

Coastal went about a year with no one or two year interns, “which is really a big part of what we do in sports medicine, so getting them back on the job was critical,” Hogue said. “You are critical to being able to take into account whatever you do on the schedule, be it training or the games themselves.”

Hogue said the school never went without a trainer assigned to an athletic activity, but it doesn’t have the optimal coverage it prefers for athletes.

“It was a tough time. It was a sad time in many ways because we had to let a lot of people go, ”said Hogue. “We are very pleased that the overall atmosphere of the business has turned so far that we can add it again.”

Recovery from COVID effects

The CCU and its sports department have recovered financially over the past year.

After three years of declining or stagnating student numbers, Coastal reached a new high in the number of incoming students in the fall semester.

A record of 2,519 freshmen enrolled in the fall. The school’s previous fall class record was 2,319 in 2017.

The total number of enrollments in the fall was 10,473, which is close to the school’s all-time high of about 10,600 students.

The fundraising for the CCU athletics set a record in the last financial year.

According to CAF Managing Director Kelly Moore, the Chanticleer Athletic Foundation has completed fiscal year 2020/21, which ends on Jan.

CAF, a nonprofit that supports the CCU’s athletics, raised $ 1.015 million in member donations after raising $ 852,000 from members over the 2019-20 period.

Additional direct cash gifts, pledges, and planned gifts brought CAF’s total fundraising to $ 2.565 million for fiscal year 2020-21, an increase of more than $ 800,000 year over year.

Athletics chairman and former chief soccer coach Joe Moglia made a donation that enabled the university to continue working on a $ 15 million indoor soccer practice facility, additional soccer facilities, and a planned soccer project in the southern end zone to begin, announced the school. His donation will also complete the funding of a new $ 5 million stadium for the men’s and women’s football programs.

At the request of Moglia, the university did not disclose the amount of the donation.

CCU athletes give back

The CCU’s Athletics Department and Student-Athlete Advisory Committee have partnered with local organizations to give back to the community, especially during the holiday season.

In November, SAAC sponsored a grocery drive that supported Churches Assisting People by donating around 3,000 pounds of canned food and long-life items for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Led by the Athletics Department, teams and student athletes provided toys, clothing, shoes, and educational gifts to 35 disadvantaged children in the Horry County area in the Adopt A Chant Christmas Campaign.

Teams that participated in the annual event included women’s soccer, beach volleyball, women’s golf, volleyball, softball, baseball, soccer, women’s lacrosse, and the dance team. Staff from the athletics department also supported the eleven-year project.

“I’m always grateful and impressed with the generosity and dedication our student athletes show not just during the holidays but all year round,” said Hogue. “Their dedication and passion for helping others and setting examples in our community speaks volumes about their characters and why we have the privilege of calling them Chanticleers.”

Last February, the CCU’s athletics division was presented with the United Way of Horry County’s Hidden Hero Award, which is presented annually to a person or organization who has campaigned for the United Way across borders, and the work is often not recognized by the public.

In the run-up to the Tailgreeter Cure Bowl in Orlando, the CCU and Northern Illinois teams packed more than 23,000 meals into Universal Studios for the US Hunger Project.

Super Senior Defensive Lineman CJ Brewer, who participated in the Adopt A Chant campaign, received the Community Soldier Award from the Cure Bowl for his contribution to the community. Each soccer positional group adopted two children and received wishlists.

“It’s really big and I’m proud of that. We do a lot of different things, ”said Brewer. “… Each person used their own money, around $ 20 to $ 30 per person. Some children wanted bicycles and others just wanted clothes, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and books. I do it with pleasure. I did the program with the Tim Tebow Foundation for children with special needs. I love doing this every year and I am proud to help. “

This story was originally published January 6, 2022 10:28 am.

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Alan Blondin covers golf, Coastal Carolina University, and athletics, and numerous other sports-related topics that require reporting. Well versed in Myrtle Beach, Horry County and Grand Strand, the 1992 graduate of Northeastern University’s School of Journalism has been a reporter for The Sun News since 1993 after working for newspapers in Texas and Massachusetts. As of 2007, he has received eight national awards from the top 10 Associated Press Sports Editors and 20 of the top three SC Press Association awards.

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