Coastal Carolina's baseball program shares a state with traditional powers Clemson and South Carolina, which can make things like public recognition and recruiting difficult.
“We're building a $12 million stadium to give ourselves a chance to recruit a little better, and do some things a little bit better than what we've been able to do in the past,” said Chanticleers coach Gary Gilmore. “The commitment here to be good in baseball is outstanding on the part of our administration and our community here.”
Coastal Carolina, based in Conway, S.C., just outside of Myrtle Beach, has done quite well for itself in baseball. Gilmore, a former CCU player himself, took over the program in 1996 after it had suffered through its first losing season in 18 years.
Gilmore gradually built Chanticleer baseball back up, to the point where it's now reached an NCAA regional in 11 of the last 12 seasons, including seven straight.
Despite all the success, Gilmore acknowledges that his program — which opens 2013 regional play Friday against Oklahoma in Blacksburg, Va. — will always struggle to stand out among its bigger and more prominent neighbors.
“No matter what we do, we will always be in the shadow of South Carolina and Clemson,” Gilmore said. “That's just who we are, whether it's baseball or our university or whatever.
“As far as public notoriety, and people knowing who we are ... we're kind of the stepchild, so to speak, in that situation.”