South Carolina State football coach Oliver “Buddy” Pough was recognized this week as the 2011 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference’s distinguished alumnus for the school during the on-going postseason basketball tournament at Winston-Salem, N.C.
Pough, who took over for Willie Jeffries at South Carolina State in 2002, has picked up where his College Football Hall of Fame inductee mentor left off. The Bulldogs (9-3 overall; 7-1 in the MEAC) has claimed either an outright (2008-09) or shared MEAC championship (2010) in each of the last three years. He’s also coming off the program’s third straight berth to the FCS playoffs.
“I am honored to have been selected by my University for this award,” Pough said in pre-ceremony remarks. “Any time you are given an opportunity to be recognized, it feels like you are making a difference in this world and in the lives of others. That is what we try to do here every day.”
Pough is now 76-29 overall at Orangeburg, S.C., and 58-13 in MEAC play. Prior to taking the reins at South Carolina State, Pough spent five seasons as an assistant at the University of South Carolina, including the last three as a running backs coach under former national championship winner Lou Holtz. Pough also worked as an assistant on the Bulldogs’ staff in 1981-82 when his alma mater made consecutive trips to the former Division I-AA postseason.
The local native was a standout offensive lineman for Jeffries, as South Carolina State went 16-1 over the 1974 and 1975 seasons. Over that period, the Bulldogs claimed a pair of MEAC championships.