Former football All-American Josh Norman makes major donation to CCU
"Josh and Marrio both played important roles in the development and success of the Chanticleer football program," said CCU President David A. DeCenzo. "Their ongoing support of their alma mater is commendable. The fact that Josh's gift will impact both our academic and athletic programs speaks volumes to his commitment to the overall well-being of the University. And for that, we are extremely grateful."
A majority of Norman's gift has been designated for the Brooks Stadium expansion project. It will also provide financial support for walk-on football student-athletes as well as CCU's communication and theatre programs. The stadium expansion project includes increasing seating capacity to at least 20,000, adding luxury suites and an upper deck to the west side of the stadium, as well as other features such as new entrances. Scheduled for completion by the opening of the 2019 season, the stadium expansion is in response to the Chanticleers joining the Sun Belt Conference and meeting NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision requirements.
"It's always important to have alumni, whether they are football players or not, who care enough about our University to make a long-term financial commitment," said Joe Moglia, CCU's head football coach and executive director for football, and chairman of the board at TD Ameritrade. "Hopefully, Josh's commitment will set an example for others."
"Along with being one of our most accomplished alums, Josh has shown more than just a fondness for his alma mater, but a deep display of commitment to enhance and change the lives of our students," said CCU Athletics Director Matt Hogue. "He has always been a true member of Teal Nation and a great ambassador for the University. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Josh, Marrio and the entire Norman family for this tremendous gift."
Josh Norman, a native of Greenwood, S.C., played cornerback at CCU from 2008-11. In CCU's career record books, he is ranked first in pass breakups and passes defended, and is ranked in the top-six in interceptions, unassisted tackles, forced fumbles and blocked kicks. He was named first-team All-Big South Conference in 2009, 2010 and 2011; was a first-team Associated Press FCS All-American in 2011; and earned third-team honors as a sophomore in 2009. Norman is the only player in Big South history to play in both the East-West Shrine Game and the Senior Bowl. He was a finalist for the 2011 Buck Buchanan Award, given annually to the top defensive player at the NCAA FCS level. In 2012, Norman became the third-ever CCU football player to get drafted into the NFL.
"My brothers and I grew up at Coastal," Norman said. "We did everything at this University. From relationships, jobs and of course you can't leave out the weekly parking tickets that plagued every student on campus. Coastal taught me a lot about myself, and I will never forget the impact the professors had on where I am today in life. The friends that I've made are life-timers. They, too, have gone on to do amazing things, and we will never forget the ones we lost due to illness and tragedy.
"You can never put a dollar amount on someone's personal influence on your path in life. I am beyond grateful for my experience at Coastal Carolina University.
"For my two brothers [Marrio and Phillip] and I who passed through these halls, may our voices be heard from a time long ago as we watch the evolution of CCU as a growing titan. I'm proud to be a Chanticleer! Hail to the Chants!"
Norman is in his third year as a starting cornerback with the Washington Redskins. He previously played four years with the Carolina Panthers, who drafted him in the fifth round (143rd pick overall) of the 2012 National Football League Draft. Norman helped lead the Panthers to Super Bowl 50 during the 2015 season and was also selected for the Pro Bowl that same year. The following season, he signed with the Redskins, who made him the highest-paid cornerback in the NFL.
"Josh Norman is one of the most renowned figures in the young history of Coastal football," said Chanticleer Athletic Foundation (CAF) Executive Director Chris Johnson. "The success he experienced as a Chanticleer has carried over to the NFL, where he has developed into one of the league's very best cornerbacks. It's been thrilling to watch his progression. Josh and Marrio are very important members of Teal Nation. Josh's generous gift will have an impact on Coastal Carolina University for generations to come."
In addition to his success on the field, Norman is making a name for himself off the field. He recently donated $50,000 to Horry County Schools to assist with recovery and support efforts after the historic flooding from Hurricane Florence, which devastated areas of the county that is also home to CCU. In May, he and partner Sharna Burgess finished runner-up on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars: Athletes." Last year, Norman founded the Starz24 Foundation to help children through programs that emphasize fitness and teamwork. In 2017, he was inducted into CCU's George F. "Buddy" Sasser Hall of Fame; and the CAF named him the 2016-17 Chanticleer of the Year. The University presented him an honorary doctorate of public service in June in recognition of his philanthropic efforts.
Marrio Norman, also from Greenwood, was a defensive back for the Chanticleers in 2004 and from 2006-08. In 2007, he recorded 53 tackles and five interceptions and was named first-team All-Big South. He finished his career ranked in the school's top-10 in interceptions, passes defended, pass breakups, punt returns, punt returns yards and average yards per punt return. His professional career includes playing in the Arena Football League for Georgia, Cleveland, Orlando and his current team, the Albany Empire. He was named first-team All-Arena in 2014 while playing with the Cleveland Gladiators, and in 2018 with the Empire.
Located at the north end of Brooks Stadium, the Marrio and Josh Norman Field House is a 55,400-square-foot facility that opened in 2010. The first floor features the 9,000-square-foot Watson Strength and Conditioning Center that is used by all CCU student-athletes, along with locker rooms and meeting rooms. On the second floor are various coaches' offices while the majority of the third floor is dedicated to football and is home to the George F. "Buddy" Sasser Athletics Hall of Fame and the CAF's South Atlantic Bank Fan Zone suite.