Coastal Carolina University announced in the late '90s that it would be fielding a football squad in the coming years. The Coastal Carolina Chanticleers football program played its inaugural season in 2003 on campus at Brooks Stadium. The team's first coach was David Bennett, who held the position from the team's inception until December 9, 2011. The university named former TD Ameritrade CEO Joe Moglia as its new head coach on December 20, 2011. In the program's short history, wins have already been recorded over traditional Football Championship Subdivision powers such as a James Madison University, Furman University and Wofford College. The program has won five Big South Conference championships and has already seen several former players move on to NFL careers
In 2006, the Chanticleers made school history when the team received its first FCS playoff berth, also the first playoff berth for the Big South Conference, losing a first-round contest to the Appalachian State Mountaineers, who would go on to win the FCS national championship that season. In 2010 Coastal went to the playoffs for the second time after winning the Big South Championship and received the Big South's first ever automatic playoff bid. The Chanticleers returned to the playoffs in 2012 and 2013.