Coastal Carolina's Kevin Cristello doesn't have enough praise for two of his fellow Palmetto State universities.
“What we have been receiving from Clemson and Furman has been the absolute definition of southern hospitality,” CCU's director of football operations said.
As Hurricane Dorian approached the Grand Strand earlier this week, the two schools opened their facilities to the Chanticleers.
On Tuesday, the Chanticleers spent the night practicing in Clemson’s state-of-the-art facility. The Chanticleers even got a special visit from Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney.
“Dabo didn’t have to come by, but that shows you the kind of guy that he is,” Coastal coach Jamey Chadwell said. “That speaks volumes about him as a person and the way he runs his program. He didn’t have to do that considering he has a big game coming up against a Top 25 opponent.”
After their Clemson experience, the Chants practiced at Furman University for a few days ahead of their trip to Kansas. Chadwell hopes to maintain his team's positive mentality, something that proved to be difficult last year as the team was away from campus for three weeks thanks to the damage wrought by Hurricane Florence.
“No matter who you are, whether you’re a senior that has experienced evacuating before or a freshman going through this for the first time, you’re going to go through some rough patches,” Chadwell said. “So, we have tried to make this as easy for the players and staff as we possibly can to keep them on a schedule that they are somewhat used to.”
While the practice schedule may be different, other things such as meetings, practice preparations, and spending time on academics have not been left out of the itinerary.
“We still have study hall,” Cristello said. “That way our guys can still keep up with their school work and turn in their assignments. We are just trying to make this as easy as we possibly can for our guys because we know that situations like these can take a toll.”
With Hurricane Dorian now out of the area, life begins returning to normal. For Coastal players and coaches, that can't come soon enough.
“It’s been a challenge,” Chadwell said. “We are on buses a lot more and we have to travel 45 minutes one way to commute to practice. Our practice schedule is off, and those kinds of things take a toll on you.”
The Chanticleers take on Kansas at 7 p.m. Saturday. The game can be streamed on ESPN+.