Forever A Chanticleer

Graduating students at Coastal Carolina University are reminded of something at every commencement. At the end of the ceremony a representative from the Office of Alumni Relations will take the podium to encourage the new grads to keep in touch with the University. The last words of the address, regardless of who is delivering it, are always the same:

Remember, you will forever be a Chanticleer!

Although I did not graduate from CCU, I like to think that the sentiment can be applicable to departing staff members as well.

I recently concluded my time at Coastal Carolina University.

My time at Coastal Carolina University recently concluded. As of last Friday at 5 p.m., I am no longer an employee of #TEALnation. I have accepted a position at another university and will start next month. To all my colleagues who I did not get to say goodbye to, I apologize. I intended to let everyone know about my departure in person but the early delivery of our son and a stay in the NICU changed those plans. 

I have thoroughly enjoyed working at Coastal Carolina, something I hope to make clear with a couple blog posts over the next week. Without the opportunity I received almost six years ago to serve this special place, my life would be completely different and much less fulfilling. I owe the world to CCU.

Due to life events (you know, like having a baby?!) and thanks to the overwhelming patience and understanding of my new employer, I will be around the area for several more weeks. I am blessed to have the opportunity to be a stay-at-home dad for nearly a month. This transition period will allow me to spend precious days with Sloan and bond with Beau.

My wife is the best. Despite everything going on with our growing family, she has given me the blessing to pursue this opportunity. What more can I say?

CCU, it is time for me to properly thank you. I will do this by reflecting on the events and people that made my tenure so memorable. Stay tuned, there is more to come. Don’t Blink.

A Half Decade at CCU

On May 1, 2014, I started a new stage in my life. That morning I reported to work at a different college campus, thousands of miles from my previous one. A half decade later, that “different” college campus isn’t so different anymore – it is home.

I took this photo the morning of May 1, 2014 — my first day at Coastal Carolina University.

As I celebrate my fifth anniversary at Coastal Carolina University, I can’t help but feel fortunate that I found #TEALnation. Wanting to manage the social media program of a university at the flagship level, I graciously accepted the opportunity given to me by CCU and said goodbye to the athletic department at the University of Montana.

These are some of the kind bosses/co-workers who greeted me with such open arms when I arrived at CCU in 2014.

I couldn’t have asked for a better situation to come into. Working out of the Office of University Communication, my bosses gave me the freedom to build CCU’s social media program according to the vision I presented during the interview process. When I arrived, my main objective was to establish a social brand (#CCUSocialMedia) that told the stories of #CCU. Because of the support I received, social media at CCU flourished. #CCUSocialMedia has won over a dozen national awards, earned recognition as one of the top higher education social media programs in the country, enjoyed exponential growth, and generated extensive media coverage.

Because of the freedom to take chances and because of the talented co-workers around me, #CCUSocialMedia has won over a dozen national awards in five years.

But this blog post isn’t about individual accomplishments. In fact, the accolades above were only possible because of the people I work with (more on them soon). Rather, the purpose of this post is to recognize how proud I am to be associated with this institution. In the five years I have been here, I have seen our University open up multiple academic buildings, roll out doctoral programs, produce Fulbright Scholars, set records for fundraising, undergo a complete website redesign, grow at a strategic pace, make the major athletic move to the FBS, and win a baseball national championship…just to name a few. To have a front row seat for all these defining moments has been a pleasure.

The day CCU announced plans to join the Sun Belt Conference was a lot of fun!.

These CCU triumphs over the past five years paved the way for a constant stream of excitement that rushed through this entire campus. I tried to grab hold of this energy and make my own CCU moments. During my time as a CCU staffer I have appeared in a Darius Rucker music video, attended national conferences, traveled with the men’s basketball team to the NCAA tournament, hosted my own social media segment, wrote a cover story for our alumni magazine, followed our CCU-sponsored NASCAR driver to a few races, experienced an eclipse at complete totality, covered the baseball team’s national championship parade/stadium celebration, and much more.

I have had so many memorable times while working at CCU.

Again, just like with the industry accomplishments, I would have been deprived of the memorable moments without my bosses and co-workers. If not for Bill Plate, Martha Hunn, and Matt Hogue I would not be here at Coastal. Those three comprised the hiring committee that ended up granting me the opportunity of a lifetime. If not for my incredible supervisor, Lindsi Glass, I would not have been able to grow as a professional and feel so comfortable coming to work each day. If not for Kim Harper, the best administrative assistant to ever walk the planet, many of our fun social media promotions would be derailed by red tape. And, if not for my talented and selfless co-workers, the success of our #CCUSocialMedia program would be non-existent. Because of our graphic designers (Rob, Jeanne, Regis, Ron, Scoops, Jady), photographers (Judy, Scott, Tad), video wizards (David, Geoff, Richard, Dennis, Josh), web personnel (Brentley and Marty) and writers (Caroline, Mel, Doug, Mona), we have incredible content to share each day. They take our social media presence to the next level and make me look good. Even more importantly, they are all humble people and trusted friends.

I have had the pleasure of working with so many great people in the Office of University Communication at CCU.

Of course I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the final joy of working on this campus: the students. In five years, I have had many motivated and savvy students work for me and I have met countless others who have participated in many of my wacky social media campaigns/promotions. It goes without saying that I am beyond appreciative – without students, I don’t have a job.

I have been blessed to be around some amazing students. This photo is of me with Eddie and Monica, two of my former student interns.

A lot has changed in five years. My title has changed, the name of our department has changed, and our top leader has changed. But one aspect has not: Coastal Carolina University is a great place to work. I am thankful to the CCU administration and the state of South Carolina for employing me. I look forward to the next five years. Don’t Blink.

Carty’s Turn, Perfect Timing, Bye Bye April

On the cusp of an epic weekend in sports, I am back for the Thursday Rundown. Let’s get right down to the five topics. 

Carty’s Turn – After a long and shameful campaign by a small group of parents to derail Sean Carty of his football head coaching position at Mead High School, it is finally time for them to shut up. Coach Carty will submit his appeal to the principal tomorrow. I can’t imagine how life has been for Carty since this debacle started, forced to watch the screw job in silence. But now it is time for his side. Keep in mind that tomorrow starts just the first round of the process. If necessary, Carty would take it to the superintendent and then ultimately to the school board.

From what I have been told, the case against Coach Carty is much weaker and trivial than the group of parents let on. With the support he has garnered combined with his solid 14-year record at the helm, Carty has a chance. In fact, for the first time since I have started writing about this issue, I am going to say he has a good chance. If you have yet to write to the good man running the district, please feel free to send your letters of support to Superintendent Rockefeller by clicking here.

Sean Carty will finally have the floor to tell his side.

Sean Carty will finally have the floor to tell his side.

Teal-Shaded Summer – Yesterday I introduced our summer social media campaign to our audience here at Coastal Carolina University. I came up with something I am calling A Teal-Shaded Summer. Bribing our students with our really cool Chauncey sunglasses that everyone wants, I had all the volunteers I needed instantaneously to make this campaign a success. What will happen is our students will travel to their summer destination, pop on the shades, and take a photo. They will then submit the images to me and I will feature one student per day across our social media channels. As an astounding half of our student population is from out of state, these sunglasses will travel far.

The Teal Shaded Summer will kick off on May 25.

The Teal Shaded Summer will kick off on May 25.

Perfect Timing – With the firing of the Houston Rockets’ social media director and the uncomfortable back-and-forth between the Twitter accounts of the Yankees and Mets, we witnessed some bad practices in the social world this week. On Monday we released our latest “Coastal Now” episode and my segment seemed to highlight the alternative to the “shaming” route that seems so popular among organizations on Twitter. To view me addressing the benefits of acting with civility 140 characters at a time, click here.

I talk about the benefits that occur when organizations are civil on social media.

I talk about the benefits that occur when organizations are civil on social media.

End of April, Start of May – To be honest, I am not crying over April passing us by. For the first time in my life, I felt less than my best physically for the better part of a month. These South Carolina conditions just hit my previously untapped allergies like a ton of bricks. However, I am already feeling better as I look forward to May. Tomorrow will mark my one year anniversary of working at Coastal Carolina University. Immediately after finishing this post, I will start writing another one that will briefly commemorate my mini milestone. You can look for that post to be published at noon tomorrow.

Sports Weekend for the Ages – By now it has been well-documented…this is an unprecedented sports weekend. Take your pick between the NFL Draft, NBA Playoffs, Kentucky Derby, Mayweather vs. Pacquiao, and NHL Playoffs. Well, of course you don’t really have to take your pick because most of us sports fans will be watching bits and pieces of them all. Personally though, I think I am most excited about the fight. The buildup has been extreme and it is taking place in my all-time favorite city, Las Vegas. I want the fight to go to the last round with Pacquiao knocking out Mayweather just before the final bell.


Have a great night my friends. Time now for me to start writing again so I can be finished by the time Jameis Winston is taken in the Draft. Don’t Blink.

Small Screen = 4, Big Screen = 1

It is Thursday. Do I need anymore of an introduction? Let’s get right to the rundown.

Coastal Students on Instagram – For my latest Social Circle segment, I decided to highlight Instagram images taken by our students. Using the beginning of the semester as a starting point, I featured some photos that our campus community took over the past few weeks. I had a great time jamming in as many photos as possible into my two minutes. The last photo I spotlight is pretty cool. To check out my latest Social Circle segment on our campus television show, “Coastal Now,” just click here.

In my latest Social Circle segment I highlighted Instagram photos taken by CCU students.

In my latest Social Circle segment I highlighted Instagram photos taken by CCU students.

Social Media Group on the News – As I have mentioned before, I have the opportunity to head a group made up of our social media leaders on campus. Once a month I sit down with some of the most colorful personalities at this university and we discuss trends and happenings within the social media realm here at Coastal. One of our local news stations found this newsworthy. This Monday, Mandy Noell from WMBF came and shot our meeting. She then did a great story later that night focusing on the work we do and the challenges we face. To view the story, click here.

Thanks to Mandy Noell from WMBF for doing such a great story.

Thanks to Mandy Noell from WMBF for doing such a great story.

“The Loft” – This past Sunday, Sidney and I went to the theater to watch the movie “The Loft.” The film focuses on a group of friends, all in high profile/high paying positions, who go in together to purchase a suite high up in a building where they can take their mistresses back to, thus never leaving a paper trail of where they cheat at. One morning the group discovers a dead woman handcuffed to the bed. Throughout the duration of the film the plot takes crazy turns, making you suspect each person in the group as the culprit at one time or the other. A couple scenes are especially entertaining and intense. It is an exciting thriller/mystery movie with plenty of drugs and sex. If that is your thing, you will want to see “The Loft.”

February in Missoula, February in Myrtle Beach – The photo with the snow was taken exactly one year ago today as I left my apartment complex in Missoula, Montana. The second photo was taken today here in South Carolina. Thanks to filters, the first photo looks kind of beautiful. No filters needed, the second photo is beautiful. I will take warmth and sun over snow and ice any day. Thankful to be here.

Montana on the left, South Carolina on the right.

Montana on the left, South Carolina on the right.

Mindy – There is only one television series I am currently watching and it is called “The Mindy Project.” The comedy follows the exploits of a young doctor named Mindy as she balances her professional and personal life. Mindy Kaling is an Indian actress, you might have noticed her during a Super Bowl ad where she thought she was invisible. Anyway, as most of you know I don’t watch sitcoms so you might be wondering how I stumbled upon this particular program. Well, my girlfriend watches it so I got roped into watching it as well. It has officially become something we sit down and laugh at each week.

Hanging out with Mindy at a Red Sox game.

Hanging out with Mindy at a Red Sox game.


Another week almost in the books. I am looking at another free weekend ahead. Most depressing thought is that there will be no football to watch. What will I do with myself? Perhaps I can watch some old “The Mindy Project” re-runs. Have a great one! Don’t Blink.