Despite Shane Beamer only having less than one full season as college head coach under his belt, he has great reverence for a man who is synonymous with football in South Carolina.
Ahead of Thursday’s game against SC State in Columbia, the first-year South Carolina coach discussed what Buddy Pough has meant to football in the state.
“You know, because if people in the state don’t like you and don’t think you’re very good and don’t think you’re a great person, you’re probably not going to last long coaching in this state, whether it’s high school, college or whatever it may be, he has [done it],” said Beamer, who explained that Pough reminded him of his father Frank Beamer, the longtime Virginia Tech coach. “So it’s a testament to him.”
Pough, in his 21st season at SC State, has led the Bulldogs to eight MEAC championships (three outright) and three Black College National Championships, including 2021. He has also been named MEAC Coach of the Year three times.
“There was a lot of talk last year about Jackson State and rightfully so, but people forget that South Carolina State beat Jackson State 31-10 in the last game of the season, in their (Celebration Bowl) game,” said Beamer.
Prior to his tenure at SC State, Pough had multiple stints as a high school coach in the state dating back to 1976 and even was an assistant at South Carolina for six seasons under then-coach Lou Holtz.
Beamer marveled at how beloved Pough was among former players and assistants who worked with him over the years.
“He’s such a great man to be at one school for so long says a lot about him and the person that he is,” said Beamer. “Then I think you look at his coaching staff and the guys that are on his staff. I mean, there’s a lot of guys that either played for him at South Carolina State or they’ve coached with him for a long, long time, and you know, it reminds me a lot of my dad being at Virginia Tech for so long and a staff that was with him for so long as well, starts with the kind of people they are.”