Growing pains: How CCU's football team is adjusting to its new division

(WPDE file image)

Despite a losing record for this year, Coastal Carolina University's athletic director is still proud of the football team.

Athletic director Matt Hogue says the chanticleers are on track after moving up a division.

"I think moving to FBS and getting the full Sun Belt schedule has presented the challenges we expected we would see. It's certainly, from a competitive stand point, a tremendous league. We knew that, we knew there'd be some growing pains, we knew it'd be a process," said Hogue.

CCU junior Ryan Case agreed, saying "I don't think the team has got much worse or anything, but I think it's just higher competition, so it's taken a toll."

And attendance in the newly revamped stadium may look low, but Hogue says sales are up from previous years.

"We've seen our season ticket base increase, we've seen our sponsors provide incredible support to what we're doing, we've had some innovative promotions that have worked," explained Hogue.

And all of that means CCU will have 15,000 average ticket sales per game, which is a requirement to be an active member of Football Bowl Subdivision.

Related: CCU gears up for 2017 football season with stadium expansion

Hogue says the athletic department is still working on getting people to come out for games that they have tickets for.

"We certainly want people there, we want everybody to redeem tickets. That's what increases the atmosphere and makes the place what we want it to be," said Hogue.

Related: CCU students suggest how to fill seats for their expanded stadium

Case said that atmosphere is what he wants, too.

"The tailgates and the games: we try to go and create some sort of student spirit. But especially to move up and play better teams and kind of grow into our conference, I think that'll make it kind of easier to do," he said.

Coastal's last game of the season against Georgia Southern is December 2nd at Brooks Stadium.

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