ORANGEBURG, S.C. (AP) – South Carolina State football coach Oliver “Buddy” Pough said he’s retiring after his 22nd season with the school.

Pough, whose 146 victories are the most in school history, announced his decision Thursday, two days before his Bulldogs start the season at the MEAC-SWAC Challenge against Jackson State in Atlanta.

Pough told his team he wanted them to know before the season began. “No one is running me off. It’s my decision,” he said before practice. “When you have done something for 47 years, it’s a bit tough to give it up. But it’s time.”

Pough has coached South Carolina State since 2002 and has a 146-87 overall mark at the Football Championship Subdivision school.

Pough was an assistant coach for Lou Holtz at South Carolina when he took over his alma mater from Willie Jeffries in 2002.

Pough was named the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference coach of the year twice and has led the program to 15 winning seasons and four appearances in the FCS playoffs.

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