At a Tuesday afternoon press conference on the campus of South Carolina State University, Bulldogs Director of Athletics Stacy Danley announced that Oliver "Buddy" Pough will be returning as head football coach for at least the 2019 season.
"When I looked at the program, where we are today, and considered our current reality and what the head football coach at South Carolina State is required to do, there was no question to me that Coach Pough is the man for the job," Danley said. "He is the right man for the job.
"I have asked Coach Pough to come back to be our head coach again next year at South Carolina State University. The administration has given approval and negotiations with Coach Pough have begun. Once we have a contract in place, pending board approval, we will announce the details of that contract. Coach Pough, I'm excited, and today I believe in you now more than I have at any time during my tenure here at South Carolina State."
With Pough's current contract expiring after the 2018 season, Danley said he has been given approval by the S.C. State administration to begin contract negotiations with Pough. He also announced that the decision has not yet been made for the contract to be for one year or multiple years.
The announcement comes after a surprisingly strong season that started at 0-4 but ended at 5-6 with a 4-3 MEAC record, good for a 3rd-place finish in conference standings with many freshmen and redshirt freshmen playing considerable minutes for the Bulldogs.
It will be Pough's 18th season at the helm of the Bulldogs' program, having posted a 125-71 overall record, including a 97-35 record in Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference play, where his teams have won six outright or shared MEAC championships.
"I look forward to being the guy in charge of this program for some years to come," Pough said. "It's always exciting to get to this time of year.
"I think last year you saw the improvement in our football team and the consistency of having us back and having our staff back. We look forward to being here for a lot of years to come, but next year in particular. We will continue at the task of putting football in the place it is supposed to be in the MEAC conference. This team has got a chance to be pretty good this coming season."