Jamey Chadwell doesn't want to make too big a deal of Coastal Carolina’s upset of Kansas on Saturday, which is why the head coach would have preferred to keep his football team's postgame celebration private.
Instead, a video of the Chanticleers beating down a Jayhawks piñata in the visiting locker room has gone viral, with Sports Illustrated among the national media outlets picking up the story.
"I didn't know it was going to make national news," Chadwell said after Coastal's 12-7 win. "We'll have to make sure we're a little more secretive next time."
Chadwell, the former Charleston Southern head coach in his third season at Coastal, first as head coach, can't be too upset. Besting any team in the Big 12 Conference is cause for celebration for a member of the Sun Belt Conference.
Factor in the Chanticleers’ bizarre week due to Hurricane Dorian, and it’s clear why the team is feeling good as it prepares to host Norfolk State on Saturday.
“We were very excited about what we were able to accomplish,” Chadwell said. “Hopefully, we can use this as a program builder and keep our momentum.”
Hurricane Dorian slashed up the South Carolina coast late last week, bringing widespread flooding, power outages and downed trees and debris to Charleston, Myrtle Beach and other areas.
Ahead of the storm, which peaked as a Category 5 in the Bahamas, the Chants were forced out of Conway. On Sept. 2 the team headed to Greenville, a trip that took six hours instead of the usual 3½.
The players hopped off the bus around 6:30 p.m. and immediately started practicing at Christ Church School. The next day, the Chants practiced at Clemson but weren’t able to get onto the field until 8 p.m.
Weightlifting sessions were held Sept. 4 at North Greenville University in the morning, followed by practice that night at Furman. On Sept. 5 the team flew out to Kansas to prepare for its game the following day.
“It shows that we have some resilient young men who are trying to do what we ask of them,” Chadwell said.
Among those guys is junior running back CJ Marable, who rushed for 148 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries, and scored another touchdown on a 20-yard pass play.
Marable said the crazy travel schedule and makeshift practices didn’t matter to the team.
“The whole week we emphasized focus,” said Marable, who transferred to Coastal from Presbyterian College.
Trey Carter, an offensive lineman and one of the team’s captains, doubled down on Marable’s words. After the upset, Carter said the feeling in the locker room was one he wouldn’t soon forget.
“It’s high energy,” he said. “Guys are really excited. We’ve been on the road for a week now, so we’re just ready to get back home.”
That feeling is one the Chants are used to. Last year, Hurricane Florence forced the team out of Conway, prompting a revised practice schedule and game time for that week. Coastal beat Campbell in that game.
But the feeling is fleeting for Chadwell, who won two Big South titles during his four years at Charleston Southern.
As the first-year head coach at Coastal following Joe Moglia’s decision to step down, Chadwell is looking ahead to Norfolk State. He said Norfolk is a physical team that should be 2-0 instead of 1-1 after a tough loss to Old Dominion.
As for the Chants, they are feeling good about being 1-1 after a season-opening loss to Eastern Michigan followed by last weekend's upset of Kansas.