South Carolina State Hires Chennis Berry

South Carolina State has hired Chennis Berry from NCAA Division II Benedict College as the next head coach of the Bulldogs. Berry went 27-7 overall and 17-4 in SIAC games with two SIAC Championships and two Division II Playoff appearances in three seasons.

Berry was hired by Benedict in 2020 but the college did not participate in the following season. In his first season in 2021, Berry and Benedict finished 5-5 overall and 5th in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference’s East division. In 2022 and 2023, Berry led the Tigers to undefeated regular seasons that culminated in back-to-back SIAC Championships and the top seed in Super Region 2 of the NCAA Division II playoffs. Benedict was named the Division II Black National Champions for the 2022 season but ultimately lost in the second round in both 2022 and 2023.

Berry will take over for retiring Oliver “Buddy” Pough who went 151-93 overall in 22 seasons at South Carolina State. Pough won or shared 8 MEAC titles, won 3 Black National Championships, made 4 FCS Playoff appearances, and won the 2021 Celebration Bowl. Berry will have big shoes to fill and his extensive experience with HBCUs should help.

Berry started his coaching career at Morris Brown in 1996 followed by a stint as the offensive line/tight end coach for Kentucky State from 1997 through 2000. Next, he went to Fort Valley State in the same role in 2001 and 2002. He spent the 2003 through 2012 season as an assistant coach for North Carolina A&T twice (2003 through 2005 and 2009 through 2010), Morgan State (2006 through 2008), and Howard (2011 and 2012). From 2013 through 2019, he was the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at Southern before taking the head coaching job at Benedict.

Photo Credit to South Carolina State University Athletics

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