The 2011 South Carolina Coaches for Charity Dinner hosted by the Fisher DeBerry Foundation was a huge success for the second consecutive year. Attendance was up by 50% from a year ago, and a wonderful meal was only surpassed by generous bidding on auction items where proceeds went to charity.
In attendance were Clemson coach Dabo Swinney, USC’s Steve Spurrier, Wofford’s Mike Ayers, The Citadel’s Kevin Higgins, SC State’s Buddy Pough, and Furman’s Bruce Fowler. Former Air Force head coach, and newly inducted NCAA Hall of Fame member Fisher DeBerry was the man in charge.
Joining us live on SportsTalk were a few of the coaches, including Fisher DeBerry, Mike Ayers, and Buddy Pough.
Fisher DeBerry is the all-time winningest coach for The United States Air Force Academy, and was elected into the NCAA College Football Hall of Fame earlier this year. He holds an overall record of 169-109-1, and was named WAC coach of the year 3 times. In 1985, he won the Paul “Bear” Bryant Award as NCAA college football’s coach of the year. DeBerry has also been awarded the State Farm Coach of Distinction award in 2001, and has been inducted into the South Carolina Sports Hall of Fame. He received an honorary doctorate of humanities from Wofford during its graduation ceremony in 2003. He and his wife, Lu Ann, started The Fisher DeBerry Foundation, which is a tax exempt, nonprofit organization dedicated to the support and education of single moms and their children, as well as other charitable causes.
Mike Ayers is entering his 24th season with Wofford, where he has guided the Terriers from the DII ranks up to the Southern Conference in DI. His teams have reached the playoffs 4 times in 8 years, including 3 conference titles (2003, 2007, 2010). Since 2002, Ayers has led the Wofford to a 73-34 overall record, which ranks only second to 3-time National Champion Appalachian State. Ayers and the Terriers are coming off a 10-3 season, with a share of the SoCon Title and a win in the NCAA FCS Playoffs.
Buddy Pough is entering his 9th season as the head coach for his alma mater, South Carolina State. Since succeeding head coach emeritus Willie Jeffries as Bulldog head coach in 2002, Pough has built the SC State football program into a perennial power in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). Last season, SC State was named National Black Champion by the Sheridan Broadcasting Network, the 100 Percent Wrong Club of Atlanta, the Washington (DC) Pigskin Club and the Box-to-Row /BASN. In addition, the Bulldogs finished number seven in all three major FCS polls – The Sports Network, the FCS Coaches Poll and Any Given Saturday. Pugh is 67-26 overall in eight seasons at the helm, including a dazzling 51-12 record in the MEAC. His Bulldog teams have also won two outright MEAC titles (2008,09), and shared a third (2004). He has also been named MEAC coach of the year twice.