Coastal Carolina

CCU Notebook: Coastal Carolina setting college football graduation standard

Senior defensive back Dontay Hears of Gaithersburg, Md., goes through drills during Coastal Carolina's first football practice of the season on July 29. Hears earned a Public Health degree during CCU’s summer graduation ceremony Friday.
Senior defensive back Dontay Hears of Gaithersburg, Md., goes through drills during Coastal Carolina's first football practice of the season on July 29. Hears earned a Public Health degree during CCU’s summer graduation ceremony Friday. For The Sun News

Coastal Carolina head football coach Joe Moglia preaches accountability and being prepared for life after football to his players.

They are certainly getting the message.

The National Football Foundation & College Football Hall of Fame conducted a study of the college football players in the country who have already earned their undergraduate degrees and are pursuing a second diploma, and it credited CCU with the second most of any program in the nation with 14. Northwestern had the most with 18.

That was before CCU’s summer graduation Friday, however, during which four more Chants on the 2017 roster earned degrees to bring the total to 18.

The players with degrees prior to Friday are Osharmar Abercrombie, Gary Bradshaw, Nicholas Clark, Eric Church, Lorenzo D’Angelo, Dalton Demos, Kerron Johnson, Shane Johnson, Chris Jones, Jarius McMillan, Rodney Mitchell, Dwayne Price, Marcus Williamson and Austin Wilson.

Those earning degrees Friday were senior Dontay Hears and juniors Laquay Brown, Anthony Chesley and James Heft.

All of those players are working on either their Master’s degree or a second undergraduate degree this fall.

Fifteen of CCU’s 17 football seniors/grad students have undergraduate degrees. The two that don’t are quarterback Tyler Keane and kicker Masamitsu Ishibashi, both of whom are set to graduate this December and carry a career GPA of at least 3.3.

In the five years of head coach Joe Moglia’s reign at Coastal, 49 Chanticleers have graduated with at least one year of eligibility remaining. Thirty-three of those are players that were recruited by Moglia, who is taking a five-month medical leave during the 2017 season to treat inflammation in his lungs that is fostered by allergies.

Once Keane and Ishibashi graduate, 60 of 61 players in the past three football senior classes will have earned degrees.

In all, 12 current or former CCU student-athletes were a part of Friday’s graduation ceremony.

The National Football Foundation list was compiled with the help of athletics directors, faculty athletics representatives and sports information directors from all divisions who the NFF contacted to identify the players on their 2017 fall rosters who have already earned their undergraduate degrees.

The NFF received responses from 209 schools that identified a total of 952 student-athletes who are slated to play this year while pursuing additional diplomas. The numbers include 707 players from 123 schools in the Football Bowl Subdivision.

New radio partner

Coastal Carolina has a new partnership with local broadcast company Alpha Media-Myrtle Beach that will make WRNN-AM/FM “Hot Talk 99.5” and stations 1450 AM and 105.5 FM the primary homes of the CCU athletics through the 2019-20 athletic season.

The agreement will feature live game coverage of football, men’s and women’s basketball, and baseball through the Chanticleer Sports Network airing primarily on WRNN-FM 99.5 with supplemental coverage on WRNN-AM 1450 and FM 105.5.

The partnership will also feature significant daily promotional support of Chanticleer athletics on all of Alpha Media’s other FM market stations, including WAVE 104, Energy 92.1 and 96.1 WKZQ.

Soccer is ranked

The Coastal Carolina men’s soccer team is ranked 19th in country in the 2017 preseason Division I rankings by the United Soccer Coaches, which is formerly the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.

Stanford is No. 1 and Wake Forest is No. 2 in the ranking.

The Chanticleers finished last season 10-7-3, won the Sun Belt Conference tournament, defeated Radford in the first round of the playoffs to reach the second round for the sixth consecutive year, and lost to Wake Forest in the second round.

CCU has added a strong recruiting class to eight returning starters including All-Sun Belt honorees Frantzdy Pierrot, Martin Melchor and Braulio Linares-Ortiz.

Coastal’s difficult 2017 schedule includes four preseason top-15 teams in North Carolina (fourth), Clemson (fifth), Maryland (sixth) and Charlotte (15th).

The team reports to preseason camp Tuesday, has an exhibition match Aug. 13 against North Carolina, opens the season on Aug. 25 at George Mason and hosts its first game at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 1 against UNC Greensboro.

Alan Blondin: 843-626-0284, @alanblondin

CCU Football Players With Degrees

Seniors/Grad Students (15)



Osharmar Abercrombie

Public Health

Gary Bradshaw


Nicholas Clark


Eric Church

Recreation & Sports Management

Lorenzo D’Angelo


Dalton Demos

Communications (Northern Iowa)

Dontay Hears

Interdisciplinary Studies

Kerron Johnson


Shane Johnson


Chris Jones


Jarius McMillan


Rodney Mitchell

Recreation & Sports Management

Dwayne Price


Marcus Williamson

Recreation & Sport Management

Austin Wilson

Child & Family Studies (Syracuse)

Juniors (3)



Laquay Brown

Business Management

Anthony Chesley

Public Health

James Heft

Business Management

* Seniors Tyler Keane and Masamitsu Ishibashi are on pace to graduate in December, which would give all 17 seniors on the roster a degree.