|« Villanova set to meet Delaware at PPL Park||Georgia Southern move to FBS? »|
With five new assistants, Pough has more change than normal at SCSU
If there are two constants with South Carolina State football under head coach Oliver “Buddy” Pough, it’s winning and change.
With four Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference titles, three straight Football Championship Subdivision playoff appearances and the second most wins in school history (76), winning has become synonymous during Pough’s nine seasons at the helm.
Another is the annual task of having to replace assistant coaches at key positions for various reasons. This year saw even more coaching upheaval with the departure of four assistant coaches who either resigned in the case of wide receivers coach Howard Feggins and secondary assistant Adam Carter or found new opportunities like offensive line coach Demetrius Davis (new head football coach at Fairfield Central), strength and conditioning coach Torre Becton (assistant position at the University of Washington).
Having received plenty of practice in dealing with staff turnover, it did not take long for Pough to hire five replacements just before the players reported Tuesday for the start of summer workouts.
“This has been the most we have lost at any one time, but it’s to be expected,” Pough said. “We hire up-and-coming guys and we hope to keep them for a while. But when we lose them, we’re always prepared to make another move.”
With every coaching change, the goal for Pough is bringing in people with “fresh, new ideas” who love working with the players to a point where they respond positively and productively to their teachings.
In hiring Jared Powers and former offensive tackle Nygel Pearson as co-offensive line coaches, Pough believes having two people coach the position as he played for the Bulldogs will yield improved results.
“It takes two eyes on those guys,” he said. “You’ve always got a front side and a back side. You’ve always got a left and a right. You can always see them when you watch it over and over again on film because you can run it back and forth. But when you watch it in practice, when you see it in practice, very seldom can you see both sides. So it’s always good to kind of assign one guy to be watching front side or one guy to be watching the back side or one guy to be watching the play side or something of that nature.
Powers will work with the center and guards, while Pearson will coach the tackles and tight ends. Pearson is taking over the tight end coaching duties from Lee Chambers, who will take over Feggins’ spot with the wide receivers.
“It’s sort of the same job,” Pough said. “Our tight ends are split out so much now that we play more of a detach tight end rather than an attach guy. But at the same time, we look for a guy to create some mismatches outside size wise both catching and blocking and because we had so much success with those guys blocking last year when they were healthy, we maybe want to lead in that direction at the wide receiver position. As I was looking to improve their blocking outside as well as their toughness and I think this guy who will really get in there and get knee-deep into that style of play and really develop our guys in the way we have to develop them.”
New strength and conditioning coach Trumain Carroll will get the first chance to work with the players when he supervises their summer workouts. Meanwhile, secondary assistant Chris Cook will not officially report to the team until July 15.
The revamped staff will make its full debut in early August for preseason camp and Pough is optimistic about having another successful group.
“I think it’s a great transition between last year’s staff and this year’s staff and I look forward to seeing how these guys work together as a staff,” Pough said. “Hopefully, they’ll be a caring staff that will get together in a way where they’ll be a good, strong cohesive staff.”
BULLDOG COACHING CHANGES
As Oliver “Buddy” Pough enters his 10th season as South Carolina State head football coach, his coaching staff has undergone some tweaking with three new hires and a reassignment.
LAST YEAR THIS YEAR
OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR Kevin Magouirk Kevin Magouirk
RUNNING BACKS Danny Lewis Danny Lewis
WIDE RECEIVERS Howard Feggins Lee Chambers
TIGHT ENDS Lee Chambers Nygel Pearson
OFFENSIVE LINE Demetrius Davis Jared Powers (guards/center)
& Nygel Pearson (tackles)
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR Mike Adams Mike Adams
DEFENSIVE LINE David Blanchard & David Blanchard &
Gerald Harrison Gerald Harrison
SECONDARY Joel Taylor Joel Taylor
SECONDARY ASSISTANT Adam Carter *Chris Cook
STRENGTH & CONDITIONING Torre Becton Trumaine Carroll
*Scheduled to officially start July 15th.
By THOMAS GRANT JR., The Times and Democrat