(STATS) - The road to the FBS level will feel like home to Coastal Carolina this year.
The Chanticleers will play a program-record eight home games while they transition out of the FCS with a 12-game independent schedule, which the Conway, South Carolina, university announced Tuesday.
The former Big South Conference member will rise to the FBS and join the Sun Belt Conference beginning with the 2017 season. As the Chants transition out of the FCS this year, they can play one more regular-season game than the maximum of 11 for other teams on the level.
"This is an important year for our program as we start our transition to the FBS," fifth-year coach Joe Moglia said. "However, we are still an FCS independent this year and have put together a nationally competitive schedule to reflect that. We are pleased to play eight home games and we are excited to have a final go-around with schools with which we have built a good tradition."
Coastal began playing on teal-colored turf at Brooks Stadium last season, when it posted a 9-3 record and finished 16th in the STATS FCS Top 25. This season, the Chants will host Florida A&M (Sept. 10), Furman (Sept. 24), Charleston Southern (Oct. 1) and Central Connecticut State (Oct 22) before playing four straight home games to end the season with Monmouth (Nov. 5), Bryant (Nov. 12), Liberty (Nov. 17) and Hampton (Nov. 26).
Coastal will play road games against Lamar (Sept. 3), Jacksonville State (Sept. 17), Gardner-Webb (Oct. 8) and Presbyterian (Oct. 29).
The Chants are not eligible for the FCS playoffs, which ends a run of four consecutive appearances.
2016 Coastal Carolina Football Schedule
Sept. 3, at Lamar
Sept. 10, Florida A&M
Sept. 17, at Jacksonville State
Sept. 24, Furman
Oct. 1, Charleston Southern
Oct. 8, at Gardner-Webb
Oct. 22, Central Connecticut State
Oct. 29, at Presbyterian
Nov. 5, Monmouth
Nov. 12, Bryant
Nov. 17, Liberty
Nov. 26, Hampton