Sitting in on a private meeting with a D-I Head Football Coach is not an everyday activity for the lion’s share of college football fans.
It is certainly an experience like no other.
While addressing more than 38,000 Bulls fans, Coach Scott shared his perspective on building a championship program, the standard he holds his players to, first-year expectations, and his recruitment ideology.
Openly fielding questions, Coach Scott spoke highly and with much gratitude about the USF football program.
Getting down to business, Scott immediately dove into his plan to build a championship program in Tampa. The former Clemson Co-OC had this to say about building a winning program, “There are a lot of people that love this university, and that want to see our football program really take that next step. But, the biggest thing that we [USF] haven’t done is really have the sustainable success year in and year out. My goal is to see us build a championship program that is very consistent, consistently at the top year in and year out, and I think to do that you need to build on the foundation that we have now.”
Scott expanded, “I’m very confident that we will do that [build a championship program] because of so many people that I have met that have joined arms if you will and are really looking forward to pushing in the right direction.” Scott is a strong believer, as he should be, that he will lead his team to become a sustainable program that can win a championship in the future.
Coach Scott also delved into the high bar that will be set for his players. “One of the things that we talk about within our program to our players and to our coaches all the time is the statement that ‘best is the standard’.”
Scott, who spent that past 12 seasons coaching at Clemson University, one of the country’s premier college football programs, went on to say, “I don’t believe you can be excellent as an individual, as a family, as a team, as a business or company, if you don’t have an internal standard that you really try to live by in every area of your life. For us to really take the next step as a program, we have to have a very high standard, and we have to work to really achieve that standard in a lot of different areas.”
It is not a surprise that Scott will be holding his team to the highest of standards.
“I think the amount of talented football players within a two-hour radius of our campus is incredible. That was a big reason that this job was appealing to me. I spent 12 years at Clemson coming down here to Florida to recruit, and now to be able to go out to your backyard and have tons of players all around is a huge advantage.”
Moving forward, Coach Scott shared his thoughts about his first-year expectations for his squad. When a team hires a new coach, everyone, especially the fans, buy in on instantaneous improvement. Coach Scott had this to say about his first-year expectations, “For me, year one I want our team to be prepared every time they’re on the field. I want them to play with great effort and I want at the end of the game for our fans and our alumni to feel proud of what they saw on the field.”
Scott continued, ” It would be a little bit disingenuous for me to get on here and make predictions on our season and records. It’s more important to worry about ourselves. That’s probably my number one priority this year is to put a product on the field that our fans and alumni and students would be proud to have represent them.”
Following his year one expectations, Coach Scott talked about his recruiting methods. Scott used an analogy, “Where do you go to buy your groceries? I doubt many people go an hour down the road to buy groceries. They go right there to their closest grocery store in their community.” In his analogy, “groceries” would represent recruits, and “grocery stores” would represent nearby high schools. With this in mind, Coach Scott is explaining that there is no need to recruit outside of the Tampa Bay area given the surplus of talent readily available.
While on the topic of recruiting, Scott also disclosed that there are 121 schools within a one-hour radius of USF. While discussing the bay area high school programs, Scott added, “we treated that as our primary recruiting area; that’s our number one recruiting area.”
Not only did Scott give insight into how much he cares about his team’s success, but he also acknowledged how he wants USF’s students, fans, and alumni to feel about his team. He wants all Bulls fans to be proud of their school’s football team.
I would like to thank the USF Athletics Department for organizing this special encounter and also thank Coach Scott for taking time out of his busy schedule to meet with South Florida alumni to discuss and answer questions about the current progress of his team.