ORANGEBURG, S.C. (December 12, 2023)  –SC State has officially introduced Chennis Berry as the new head football coach in a press conference held Tuesday (Dec.12) in the President’s State Room held on to the campus of South Carolina State University.

It was standing room only with media outlets from around the state of South Carolina as the new leader of the Bulldog football program shared his vision on why he chose SC State.

“I humbly stand on the shoulder of legends who have come before me to give me this blessed opportunity to lead such an historic program,” said Berry.

Berry succeeds iconic Coach Oliver “Buddy” Pough as the coach, who retired at the end of this year’s season after 22 seasons at the helm. With 151 wins, he is the winningest head football coach in SC State history. 

“Go Bulldogs,” Berry said. “My family and I are super excited to be joining the SC State Bulldog family. The proud history, tradition, and commitment to excellence both on and off the field are the driving forces to our excitement! It’s a great day to be a Bulldog.”

About Chennis Berry
Berry is no stranger to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). He arrives at SC State from the head coaching position at Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina, where in three seasons he amassed a 27–7 record, going undefeated in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference the last two seasons. He previously held assistant coaching positions at Morris Brown, Kentucky State, Fort Valley State, North Carolina A&T, Morgan State, Howard and Southern.

Berry earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Savannah State University. As a player at Savannah State, he earned First Team All-SIAC at offensive tackle and was named Black College All-American Honorable Mention in 1994. He also served as Savannah State’s team captain. He later earned his master’s degree in public administration from Kentucky State.

As part of the NFL’s Minority Internship Program, Berry has interned with six different NFL teams, including the Jacksonville Jaguars, Indianapolis Colts, Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, San Diego Chargers and Chicago Bears.

“We are excited about Coach Berry not just because of his ability to change the outcome of football games but also for his ability to change young men’s lives,” Conyers said. “We are excited about his ability to motivate and inspire not just the football team but across the entire campus.”


About South Carolina State University
Founded in 1896 as a land grant institution with a mission of providing service to the citizens of the state, South Carolina State University has evolved from a small teachers’ college into a major University center of learning and research. Located in Orangeburg, S.C., South Carolina State offers more than 50 different fields of study on the undergraduate and graduate levels. South Carolina State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and is a member of the Council of Graduate Schools.