From 0-11 to 10-1 in two years: Charleston Southern's turnaround

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Tuesday November 12, 2013

Charleston Southern is one of the biggest turnarounds in FCS this season under first-year head coach Jamey Chadwell.

Two years after finishing 0-11, the Buccaneers are 10-1 and ranked No. 12 in the FCS Coaches Poll after defeating No. 3 Coastal Carolina last week. The lone loss was at FBS opponent Colorado. 

Think about this: After finishing 0-11, they improved to 5-6 in 2012, and head coach Jay Mills retired after 10 seasons. Now, they’ve made another five-game improvement under Chadwell, who was an assistant under Mills from 2004-08.

The 10 wins are the most in school history, with two regular season games still to play. The Buccaneers are looking for their first Big South title since 2005 and first FCS playoff berth in school history. It has been a remarkable turnaround, with CSU topping last season in just about every key statistic.

Offensive coordinator / offensive line coach Gabe Giardina and defensive coordinator / inside linebackers coach Chad Staggs also deserve credit for the turnaround, following Chadwell from Delta State. Seven opponents have been held to fewer than 20 points after only doing that three times last season.

CSU plays at Gardner-Webb and at home against Liberty to finish the regular season, looking for their first FCS playoff berth in school history.

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News,, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to