SC State’s Buddy Pough to retire after 2023 season
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The 2023 season will be the last one at South Carolina State for head football coach Buddy Pough.
The school announced on Thursday that the legendary coach will retire after his 22nd season of leading the Bulldogs.
“I wanted to let you all know before the season got underway,” an emotional Pough told the Bulldogs on Thursday according to a statement. “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.
“We all know that tenures have to end at some point, but I’m a bit saddened by Coach Pough’s decision,” SC State Acting AD Keisha Campbell said in a statement. “Coach Pough has brought much success to the Bulldog football program and has played a major role in enhancing the SC State brand.
“We wish him much success in his final season and know that he will continue to be a loyal son to the university,” she said.
Pough, who was an offensive lineman at SC State in the early 1970′s has been the head coach for the Bulldogs since 2002. He’s had the most wins in school history going 146-87 overall as well as 112-42 in MEAC play.
The coach has led the team to 8 MEAC championships and also won the HBCU National Championship two times including in 2021.
Pough led SC State to the FCS postseason four times, won two National Coach of the Year awards and is a three time MEAC Coach of the Year.
“Coach Buddy Pough is more than just a legend on our campus and the world of college sports,” SC State President Alexander Conyers said in a statement. “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.”
The Bulldogs open the season on Saturday in Atlanta for the MEAC-SWAC challenge against Jackson State.
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