CHARLESTON, S.C. (CSU) - Charleston Southern University has named Jamey Chadwell as the its new Head Football Coach, CSU Athletic Director Hank Small announced at a press conference on the CSU campus on Thursday afternoon.
Chadwell, 36, becomes the third head coach in CSU history. He replaces Jay Mills, who retired earlier this month after 10 seasons as CSU's head coach.
Chadwell, who is 25-21 in his four seasons as a head coach, spent five seasons at CSU as an assistant, all as a part of Mills' staff, and now returns to head a program he helped build.
"(CSU) is a place I care about deeply," Chadwell said Thursday. "I have a passion for this school and its mission, as well as the people at CSU. This job is something I have been working toward since I left. I have always wanted to come back here and lead this program. Charleston Southern is a special place, Charleston is a great city, my wife and I got married here, and we are going to make this community and this university proud of this program."
Chadwell's support from coaches and former student-athletes with heavy CSU ties made the decision to bring him back to lead the Bucs' program an easy one.
"When this position opened up, there was an incredible outpouring of support for Jamey from a number of groups," CSU Athletic Director Hank Small said in the press conference. "First, athletes who Jamey Chadwell had recruited at Charleston Southern. Then athletes, football players that he had coached at Charleston Southern. And then staff members that he had worked with at Charleston Southern. The outpouring was incredible. That this person, Jamey Chadwell, had impacted peoples' lives. What he stands for as an individual. That means a great deal to us, moving forward."
Chadwell takes over the CSU program after spending the last four seasons as a head coach at two Division II programs. This season, he served as the first-year head coach at Delta State University in Cleveland, Miss. Prior to DSU, he put North Greenville University on the national map at the D-II level.
The east-Tennessee native went from 2-8 in his first season at NGU to 11-3 in 2011 and a berth in the NCAA D-II Quarterfinals, where his Crusaders lost to Delta State, 28-23. In his three seasons at North Greenville, Chadwell was 22-14 as a head coach and led NGU to its first-ever national ranking finishing the 2011 season ranked 12th-nationally in the American Football Coaches Association DII Poll.
Chadwell takes over one of the most improved teams in the FCS this past season. The Bucs' five-game improvement in their 5-6 season in 2012 was second only to Villanova (six more wins) for the largest one-year improvement.
Chadwell five seasons at on Mills' staff at CSU before leaving for North Greenville. He helped the Bucs' program reach new heights, claiming the 2005 Big South Conference title with a 7-4 record and a 3-1 record in league play. In 2006, he became the Bucs' wide receivers coach, while continuing to serve as recruiting coordinator.
Chadwell's five-year stretch at CSU was the most successful stretch in program history. The Bucs won 14-straight games from 2005-'06 and three of the four winning seasons in the program's short history.
Following the 2006 season, Mills' promoted Chadwell to Assistant Head Coach and the former East Tennessee State quarterback would finish out his time at Charleston Southern in that capacity. During his five seasons with Mills, CSU accumulated 28 wins and one Big South Conference title.
Chadwell played at East Tennessee State University (1995-99) and was a two-year starter at quarterback.
Chadwell began his collegiate coaching career at his alma mater ETSU in 2000. From 2000-2003, the former Anderson County High School star worked with quarterbacks, tight ends and running backs while assisting with recruiting and offensive game planning.
As a four-year letterman for the Buccaneers, Chadwell spent two seasons as a co-starter at quarterback. He was twice named Team Captain and he helped lead ETSU to the Southern Conference title game two times during his career (1995-1999).
He received his bachelor's degree in Economics and Business Education in May 2000 from East Tennessee State. He also completed his master's in Business Administration from Charleston Southern in May 2006. Both times finishing his coursework with a 3.3 or higher cumulative GPA.
Chadwell is married to the former Solmaz Zarrineh and the couple has one son, Jameson (3) and daughter, Avery, born on Sunday (Jan. 13).
Jamey Chadwell, Charleston Southern Head Football Coach
"(CSU) is a place I care about deeply. I have a passion for this school and its mission, as well as the people at CSU. This job is something I have been working toward since I left. I have always wanted to come back here and lead this program. Charleston Southern is a special place, Charleston is a great city, my wife and I got married here, and we are going to make this community and this university proud of this program."
"It's overwhelming (to be back). You have dreams and you have goals, and for the this to have happened in such a short time, just being gone for four years, brings up a range of emotions. When you go somewhere else, you almost have to manufacture your investment. I've already invested (at CSU), I already have something to sell. This is where I've wanted to be."
"We have to make sure that the guys we identify are going to fit with what we're looking for in a player and a student-athlete. The thing I've learned from taking over jobs and taking them over late is that you can't sign guys just to sign them. And that's the pressure. If you do sign them and they're not the right fit, you may make a mistake that hurts you or your university. We are going to sign student-athletes who fit the mission of Charleston Southern."
"You're going to see a team play with a lot of passion and with a lot of energy. We're going to be very aggressive in all three phases: offense, defense and special teams. Offensively, I believe you have to run the football to control the clock and control the tempo. I do that through the option game. We're a shotgun team and a spread team. But whether we have to run it a lot to win or throw it a lot to win, we're going to do some things to dictate to the defense and try to put them in a position where they have to defend us and we don't have to worry so much about what they do. I'm an offensive guy, so I need to talk to some of the staff to get their philosophy. I know we need a defensive coordinator at this time."
Dr. Rick Brewer, Vice President for Student Affairs and Athletics
Coach Jamey Chadwell is an excellent fit for Charleston Southern University both as one of the young, emerging "talents' in college coaching today , and, more importantly, as a man of integrity who seeks to honor the Lord Jesus Christ in every aspect of his life. We fondly recall Coach Chadwell's previous stint as an assistant coach in CSU's football program during our most productive years and have nothing but high hopes and expectations for the years ahead. Coach Chadwell's familiarity with the university's constituents, connection to high schools statewide (especially the high schools of the Low Country), and experience as a head coach in this region of the country establishes a positive trajectory moving forward.
Hank Small, Charleston Southern Athletic Director
"When this position opened up, there was an incredible outpouring from a number of groups. First, athletes who Jamey Chadwell had recruited at Charleston Southern. Then athletes, football players that he had coached at Charleston Southern. And then staff members that he had worked with at Charleston Southern. The outpouring was incredible. That this person, Jamey Chadwell, had impacted peoples' lives. What he stands for as an individual. That means a great deal to us, moving forward."
"Jamey has a proven track record of success, from CSU to North Greenville University. He led that program, in only three years, to its highest level. One thing we've talked to our team about in the past few days, is being at the highest level of our division and the playoffs. Coach Chadwell has built a program to reach the highest levels in the division II playoffs."