Chanticleers Highlights

General Information

NCAA Division: Division I

Conference: Sun Belt Conference
Past Conferences: Big South Conference
City: Conway, South Carolina
Arena: HTC Center
NCAA Tournaments: 4 (1991, 1993, 2014, 2015)


National Championships: None
Conference Titles: 8 (1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 2010, 2011, 2014)

Team History

Coastal Carolina shows its first season occurred in 1964-65 under coach Dan Selwa. The school’s record-keeping was spotty and the university has results for just six of the 11 games the team played. The university shows the team playing again in the 1968-69 season, where it’s missing scores of two games. The team played again in 1970-71 and no additional records are listed until the 1974-75 season; the university kept statistics from that point on.

The Chanticleers brought in a new coach in Russ Bergman for the 1975-76 season, which was played as an NAIA team and Coastal Carolina reached the NAIA playoffs in 1976-77, finishing with a 21-10 record. Coastal Carolina advanced to the playoffs in 1979, 1981 and 1983 but could never get the elusive victory to advance to the NAIA Tournament. The Chanticleers made the move to Division I for the 1985-86 season as members of the Big South Conference.

Becoming a Premier Team

Coastal Carolina didn’t take long to become one of the premier teams in the conference, winning the regular season conference title in 1988, 1989, 1990 and 1991, along with the conference tournament in 1990 and 1991. The tournament title in 1991 sent Coastal Carolina to its first NCAA Tournament and the Chanticleers repeated as regular season champions and conference tournament champions in 1993, earning its second trip to the NCAA Tournament. Bergman stepped down at the end of the 1993-94 season and Coastal Carolina struggled.

The Chanticleers had 11 consecutive losing seasons until Buzz Peterson took over the program in 2005-06 and the team went 20-10 but failed to earn a postseason berth. After a 15-15 record in 2006-07, Cliff Ellis returned to coaching and took over the team in 2007-08 and has been there ever since. The Chanticleers earned NIT berths in 2010 and 2011 and were invited to play in the CIT in 2012. After a 14-15 record in 2012-13, the Chanticleers earned back-to-back NCAA Tournament berths in 2014 and 2015.

Coastal Carolina was back in the CIT in 2016, advancing to the semifinals before being eliminated. In 2017, the Chanticleers competed in the CBI, reaching the finals, where they lost to Wyoming. Coastal Carolina was back in the CBI in 2019 and again reached the finals in 2021, losing to Pepperdine. The Chanticleers were invited to compete in The Basketball Classic in 2022, where they lost in the championship game to Fresno State.

All-Time Records 

  • Points Scored

    • Tony Dunkin, 2,151
    • Jack Leasure, 1,893
    • Elijah Wilson, 1,885

  • Rebounds

    • Joseph Harris, 1,152
    • Badou Diange, 789
    • Tony Dunkin, 725

  • Assists

    • Robert Dowdell, 561
    • Kierre Greenwood, 481
    • Ebrima Dibba, 468


What Is a Chanticleer?

According to the university, a Chanticleer is “a proud and fierce rooster – the unique moniker/mascot for Coastal Carolina University’s athletics teams. The Chanticleer is derived from the crafty, quick-thinking rooster in Geoffrey Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales,” specifically, “The Nun’s Priest Tale.’”

What Is Tony Dunkin Best Known For?

Coastal Carolina’s all-time leading scorer and No. 3 rebounder is the only player in Division I  history to be named his conference’s “Player of the Year” all four years.  He was part of the inaugural 11-person class inducted into the Big South Conference Hall of Fame in 2003.

Have Any Coastal Carolina Players Been Drafted by an NBA Team?

Coastal Carolina hasn’t had a player drafted or who played in the NBA. The Chanticleers have seven players playing professionally in the 2022-23 season; all of them are playing in different leagues overseas. 


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