Photo: Larry Hardy/T&D

South Carolina State Head Coach Buddy Pough Announces Retirement

South Carolina State head coach Buddy Pough announced his retirement at the end of the 2023 season. Pough is entering his 22nd season as the head coach for the Bulldogs.

“I wanted to let you all know before the season got underway,” Pough told the team. “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 South Carolina 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 stepped into the head coaching role in 2002 after spending six seasons at South Carolina. He led South Carolina State to a conference championship in only his third season. He began his collegiate coaching career as an assistant at South Carolina State from 1979-88 before accepting a role as head coach at Keenan High School. 

Over his career, Pough won three Black College National Championships and eight MEAC championships. The Bulldogs won five conference championships in a seven-year (2008-14) span, including three consecutive from 2008-10. He was named the MEAC Coach of the Year four times (2008-09, 2019, 2021). He enters this upcoming season with a 146-87 (112-42 MEAC) record. Pough will retire as the winningest coach in South Carolina State history. 

The Bulldogs open the 2023 season this upcoming weekend against Jackson State in the MEAC/SWAC Challenge in Atlanta, Georgia. Pough has led the Bulldogs to a 3-1 record in the season-opening game, with the most recent win coming in 2015 over Arkansas Pine-Bluff. 

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