ORANGEBURG, SC (WIS) - Buddy Pough sat down among reporters in Staley Hall on Wednesday afternoon and looked over a few things before addressing reporters in the room.
“I guess I kind of half the way know what you’re here for today,” Pough said. “We’ve got a little bit of a story brewing that I’m coming back. At this point, that story’s a little bit premature.”
Football season has come and gone for Pough and the Bulldogs, but his future as head football coach at South Carolina State has not been decided.
“Discussions regarding Coach Pough’s contract have not taken place at this time. I will have the appropriate discussions, with Coach Pough and President Clark to determine, the state of the program. Subsequently, a decision will be made based on what we believe will be in the best interest of the university,” Danley said in a statement released Wednesday.
Pough did reveal that he went through the evaluation process with Danley regarding the state of the Bulldogs’ football program and how the year went. However, the waiting game for Pough begins as the administration determines the next steps regarding his future.
“It’s a lot of moving parts and you’ve got to make sure that you cross all your T’s and dot your I’s,” Pough said. “But at this point, especially when a situation like this arises, it could fall apart. That is a possibility. But at the same time, we are working to try to see if we can figure out the best course of action for the university that way. At that point, we’ll let you know.”
Pough admitted that he’d like to return to SC State “under the right circumstances,” but he’d like to work for a few more years if he can’t.
“I’m still young enough,” Pough said. “I can still run around. If I didn’t have these hips that I’ve got here that they’ve put in me – these artificial hips that they gave me a few years back – I think I could still outrun some of these guys.”
In nearly two decades, Pough has won 125 games during his coaching career at SC State leaving him just four games shy of passing College Football Hall of Famer Willie Jeffries as the school’s winningest coach. To some degree, reaching that milestone is motivation for him to return if the opportunity presents itself.
“I care so much about him until I don’t know if I deserve to be ahead of him in that record in that way,” Pough said. “Even if I win more games than Willie Jeffries does, I don’t think there’ll ever be anybody that can ever replace a Willie Jeffries in the hearts and the lives of South Carolina State folks.
“It won’t be that big a deal. It’d be good to do another year and win a few more games. It’d be great to daggum go in here and have a great year, which would be what I’d really like to do. That record would be, I think, maybe secondary to maybe having the opportunity to coach a little bit longer.”