South Carolina State University football coach Buddy Pough to retire after 2023 season

Published: Aug. 24, 2023 at 1:04 PM EDT
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ORANGEBURG, S.C. (WIS) - South Carolina State University football head coach Oliver “Buddy” Pough will retire after the 2023 season.

The 22-year head coach told the team of his upcoming retirement following Thursday’s morning practice ahead of Saturday’s season opener against Jackson State University in Atlanta.

“I wanted to let you all know before the season got underway,” an emotional Pough told the Bulldogs. “No one is running me off. It’s my decision. When you have done something for 47 years, it’s a bit tough to give it up but it’s time. I will be all right.

“I’ve had a great ride here at SC State and I will continue to care about each one of you the rest of my days. Now, let’s go out and have a good season,” Pough said.

Pough has been the head coach of the Bulldogs since 2002 with a 146-87 overall record and a 112-42 conference record, making him the winningest head coach in S.C. State football history.

“Coach Buddy Pough is more than just a legend on our campus and the world of college sports,” SC State President Alexander Conyers said. “He is a living example to our students of what it means to be a loyal alumnus.

“For more than two decades, Coach Pough has instilled what we like to call ‘Bulldog Tenacity’ into his players and staff members, building their character for success on the field, in the classroom, and in life,” Conyers said. “Coach Pough filled monster-size shoes when he took over as head coach, and his successor will have to do the same.”

Pough inherited the head coaching position from legendary coach Willie Jeffries, now head coach emeritus.

During his illustrious career, Pough has had 15 winning seasons and ranks among the top coaches in the 53-year history of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

The Bulldogs will clash with Jackson State in the Cricket MEAC-SWAC Challenge in Center Parc Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, on Saturday, Aug. 26. The game will air on ABC at 7:30 p.m.

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