Paulson Stadium—a legend in its own right--is a place where legendary coaches and players come to perform.
It won’t be any different when Georgia Southern opens it season against South Carolina State at 6:05 p.m. Saturday night.
South Carolina State Coach Buddy Pough, 65, who has said he will be retiring after this, his 17th, season as head coach of the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs are coming off a 3-7 season, their worst ever under Pough and they are not projected to do much better this year as they are a young team rebuilding.
How the season may turn out it cannot diminish what Pough has accomplished at the Orangeburg school which is a member of the MEAC.
The S.C. State alum—he was born and raised in Orangeburg and has spent more than 40 years at the school as a player, assistant coach and head coach—is 120-64 overall while winning or sharing six MEAC championships and making four FCS playoff appearances.
One of those playoff spots was in 2010 when the Bulldogs dropped a 41-16 decision to Georgia Southern which is 7-0 overall against S.C. State.
Pough is S.C. State’s version of Erk Russell who is perhaps the most beloved figure in Georgia Southern history academically or athletically.
S.C. State is a school—like many of its HBCU counterparts--which has struggled financially in recent years. Pough has endeared himself to the Bulldog faithful by not only winning but declining pay raises and eschewing taking a five percent cost of living raise when his teams win seven or more games.