Before legendary Head Football Coach Oliver “Buddy” Pough oversaw his first practice at South Carolina State University (SC State), he was one of the top high school coaches in the Palmetto State. He led Fairfield Central High School to a perfect 15-0 record in 1996, claiming the Class AAA state title. As a result, he earned SC High School League Coach of the Year honors for his efforts.
Then, prior to taking the reins at SC State, Pough spent five seasons as an assistant coach at the University of South Carolina (USC) under Lou Holtz, with the last three seasons as a running backs coach. During his time at USC, he helped build the Gamecocks into one of the top offensive teams in the Southeastern Conference.
Today, Coach Pough is entering his 17th season as Head Football Coach at SC State. During his tenure as coach, Pough has compiled an overall record of 120-64 and a 94-33 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC). His teams have captured two MEAC titles, shared four others and made four trips to the prestigious Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) playoffs. He needs just nine more wins to become the all-time winningest coach in school history and surpass Willie E. Jeffries.
Remarkably, Pough’s first decade as head coach is exemplified by 10 straight winning seasons. His inaugural year (2002) resulted in a 7-5 overall record and a 4-4 MEAC record. This was followed by an 8-4 overall record and a 6-2 MEAC record in 2003. His winning ways continued through the 2004 and 2005 seasons, in both of which he earned overall records of 9-2. In 2008 and 2009, the Bull-dogs ended their season with 10-2 and 10-3 records, respectively – each earning Pough and the team MEAC titles. Pough’s first losing season came in 2012, but he and the team turned that around in 2013 with a 9-4 overall record and a 7-1 MEAC record.
Pough and his wife, Josie, are the parents to two sons, and grandparents to two granddaughters.