For 17 years, Matt Hogue’s voice resonated with the Chanticleer faithful.
And for the last 11 months, his vision for the athletics department connected with Coastal Carolina University leaders.
The school announced Thursday that Hogue would be the next director of athletics. The 44-year-old has served in a variety of roles at the school, including as interim AD for the past year.
“What is appealing [about] this job is something that has been appealing to me since the day I set foot on Coastal Carolina’s campus,” Hogue said. “This place is uniquely positioned to be a global force. We have so many ingredients that are advantages: our growing population, both in student enrollment and market-wise; obviously our location is very attractive; there’s a lot of forward thrust and momentum.”
Almost 18 years ago, Hogue was hired by Coastal to serve as both a play-by-play announcer and as an assistant media relations director. During 12 years in athletics, he sold sponsorships, worked on marketing projects and even dabbled in ticket sales. Of course, he was also the “Voice of the Chanticleers.”
“I served in just about every capacity administratively,” he said. “I kind of got a broad-based view of how the whole business operates.”
After his time in athletics, Hogue took a position as Coastal’s associate vice president of marketing and licensing.
When his predecessor, Hunter Yurachek, left Coastal for a position at the University of Houston, Hogue was picked to serve in the AD position until Coastal leaders decided on a permanent leader. As part of the move, Hogue stepped away from the microphone.
During Hogue’s tenure as interim AD, Coastal saw on-the-field success.
In the fall, the Chanticleers won conference championships in volleyball and soccer. The football team achieved a first-ever No. 1 national ranking in the FCS Coaches Poll during the regular season and saw an average attendance of more than 9,000 per game – another first for the university. Football-related revenues rose by 16 percent.
During the board of trustees’ athletics committee meeting Thursday, Coastal officials said the “interim” label would be dropped from Hogue’s title.
“Quite frankly, this past year has been nothing short of phenomenal,” said Coastal President David DeCenzo. “From what I’ve seen Matt accomplish in athletics, the positive comments that I continue to get about Matt … the conclusion was that everybody was thrilled with what Matt Hogue had been doing.”
Now that he’s secured the job, Hogue said wants to start planning for three to five years down the road. That means delving into issues he didn’t want to pursue as interim AD.
“One of those changes is in the NCAA governance, for instance, which has provided the power five conferences with autonomy, legislative capabilities,” he said. “How does that trickle down to us? How do we handle that from a fiscal standpoint? How does it impact our competitiveness? So that’s certainly an issue. I think there’s always discussion and talk in the modern age of college athletics about conference affiliation. Does something like that all of a sudden become more of an issue that we have to be prepared for as the leagues start shifting again?”
In the coming days, Hogue will deal with a more immediate matter: releasing the Chanticleers’ football schedule. Hogue said the new 11-game list will feature six home contests, including four in a row. The four consecutive home games will be a first for Coastal.
Overall, Hogue said he’s thankful to be leading Coastal’s athletics department.
“I’m very fortunate to be walking into a situation that has had success,” he said. “It’s had a tradition of excellence. We have tremendous support from our university. We have tremendous support from our president. … When you have all those elements together, it makes for an opportunity to really do some great things. My job is to make sure all that continues to be managed efficiently and in some cases just try to stay out of the way and don’t mess it up.”