South Carolina State interim athletics director Keshia Campbell has resigned and retiring football coach Buddy Pough has been named to the post in an interim role.

Campbell said Wednesday she previously was offered the job as athletics director but respectfully declined. She said she is stepping down in order for the university to find a more permanent solution for the position, which will in turn allow for the school to search for another football coach.

Her last day in the position was this past Friday.

South Carolina State’s Keshia Campbell, acting director of athletics, speaks at the SC State Athletics Award Ceremony on May 1, 2023.

Campbell did not add further information, nor did SC State as yet have official comment other than spokesman Sam Watson confirming Campbell’s departure and announcing Pough’s AD role.

Watson did say there is no timetable for Pough to leave the interim AD position.

“We’re so involved with homecoming,” Watson said without projecting when the university would have a further statement. SC State’s homecoming culminates this weekend.

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Pough had no information to add about his new role during Thursday’s Orangeburg Touchdown Club meeting, at which he was introduced by SCSU Coach Emeritus Willie Jeffries as the interim AD.

Meanwhile, Steven J. Gaither of reports that SCSU President Alexander Conyers and Campbell were far apart on details of a potential deal to make her the permanent AD, but money was not the only issue involved.

Keshia Campbell

Gaither also reports, citing sources, that the work of a search firm to help facilitate the coaching hire has been all but paused with Conyers heavily involved.

“Even if they hire the new AD,” the source stated, “it may not affect the head coach because it’s the president’s hire.”

The website further identifies Benedict College head coach Chennis Berry as the front-runner for the coaching job. He’s turned the Columbia HBCU into a top Division II program.

Pough has been gracious in being celebrated by other MEAC schools since announcing his retirement, but he’s been focused on his team. When asked by about whether he and Coach Emeritus Willie Jeffries have spoiled the South Carolina State faithful, he chuckled and admitted it’s possible.

“We’re kinda like the Pittsburgh Steelers. You know whoever gets the job you know we expect them to have the job for at least 10-15 years. One of those Mike Tomlin and rest of those guys kind of a deal. So we like to think that we have a stable kind of operation where you get in here and we support you. We really get an established program going in a direction that you can, you know, build something really special.”

Get for $1 for 26 weeks

“So hopefully we can find a guy,” Pough said. “I think they’ll find somebody to come in here and continue the legacy.”

Campbell was appointed interim AD in August 2022 when SC State fired then-Director of Athletics Stacy Danley, who was hired at SC State in April 2017 after spending two years with the SLD Sports Marketing Group. Prior to SC State, he served as athletics director at Alabama A&M and Tuskegee universities.

Campbell is an SC State University Athletics Hall of Famer, Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference player of the year and MEAC All-Time Team member. She previously served as head women’s basketball coach at SC State, was athletics director for Hampton University and worked as director of championships for the NCAA.

The Blenheim, S.C., native received a bachelor’s degree in physical education and a master’s in rehabilitation counseling at SCSU and returned to her alma mater after working at the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) and the University of Texas at Dallas.

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