Q&A with Brad Scott

Brad Scott does so much more than just script plays and assist with the play calling at Clemson University. He's also one of the top recruiters in the Atlantic Coast Conference. CUTigers recently had the opportunity to extensively speak with Coach Scott about the state of the Clemson program and other milestones he has reached in his coaching career.

The following story appeared in the December issue of CUTigers The Magazine. To subscribe to the top publication that exclusively covers Clemson sports, please click here.

Do you think when you took the job at South Carolina that being the Florida State Coordinator had prepared you to be a head coach at that time in your career?
Scott: I think it does prepare you in that as a head coach you have to make a lot of decisions that are popular if things are successful and other times they are criticized if you are not successful. I think until you become a coordinator you have never been put in that position. So from that respect, yes it prepared me.

In hindsight, was South Carolina the right time and place for you to become a head coach?
Scott: I think so because one of the things Coach Bobby Bowden had talked to me about was just to be patient and don't run out and jump at the first opportunity that is out there. So I think the timing was right, in that we had just won the National Championship. Offensively we had been very successful. In our profession you take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves because they are not guaranteed the next year. So I thought the South Carolina situation, even though I knew it would be a strong challenge, was also a great opportunity. And at that point it was one of my career goals to be a head coach by the time I was 40, and I think I got in there at about 39.

Your thoughts on the success of South Carolina the past two years with some of the players you recruited. Does that make you feel pretty good about what you did while at South Carolina?
Scott: I think we improved the recruiting and did some other things that put us in a position to make a move there. But in this day and time you get about 5 years and you have to make things work quickly. If you look it up, I think you will find that there are quite a few athletes that we recruited at South Carolina that are on NFL rosters right now. We coached some of them their entire 4 years, and some we were not able to. But, the numbers are pretty impressive.

How is your reception with South Carolina boosters? Is the bitterness still with them in that you are coaching with their rival?
Scott: Well I would say that the people that were loyal to me and my family were friends and are still. Some of the fans can't see beyond the fact that this is a profession for us and coaches move on and they take opportunities when they present themselves. But time has a way of healing all of those feelings and I don't think they feel near the animosity they might have had the first year or so. Sometimes fans can't separate their loyalty to a school with my responsibility to my professional career and to my family.

Who calls the plays on offense?
Scott: The short answer is Mike O'Cain. Everyone has input and on Friday prior to a game, we go over pretty much every situation and every critical call that is going to be made during that ballgame. So we have a list that we take up there with us that covers pretty much all the downs and distance, all the situations. In between series, we will talk about the next series of plays we are going to run. So, I use the input of all of my staff and Coach Bowden. But, when the actual plays are being called I leave that up to Mike O'Cain to make those particular calls. I have always felt like the quarterback coach knows the things the quarterback can do the best.

What are your specific regions in recruiting?
Scott: I have a recruiting area just like the other 8 coaches on the staff. I have an area in the state of South Carolina- Richland and Lexington counties and the surrounding Columbia area. And then I recruit another section of Florida that I have recruited and worked for years when I was at Florida State. Presently I now recruit around the Sarasota, Bradenton, Ft. Myers, and Naples area. And on top of that, junior colleges, either kids that I have placed there or because of coaching contacts.

What players on the roster right now that are not seeing action will be impact players at Clemson next year?
Scott: Well I think right off the bat; Kelvin Grant is going to be an outstanding receiver if he continues to work and if he continues to mature. I think Duane Coleman is going to be the back that we thought he was when we recruited him out of high school. He is something that we don't have playing for us right now. The other players we are pretty excited about on the offensive line are the 3 freshmen that have come to the front- both of the Fry boys and Nathan Bennett. Those are guys that mix it up. I think they have some toughness about them and a lot of pride and I believe they will be guys that will come in and play some for us very early.

Who would you rather have on your roster, Charlie Ward or Chris Weinke?
Scott: Charlie Ward. I think they are both Heisman Trophy Winners, so how could you go wrong with either?
Scott: Charlie at the time presented so many problems. That was back when a lot of people were not doing shotgun. I think we were one of the first people doing the shotgun and involving our quarterback as a runner and we were just kind of scratching the surface. Charlie was such a gifted player and could hurt you so much with the run.

Do you want to be a head coach again?
Scott: Well, it's not like I would move to South Dakota just to say I'm a head coach again. If the right situation presented itself, surely I would be interested. I guess you would say I am not updating my resume every month and I am not on the market looking for a job.

Would you take a Division I-AA job if it were offered this year?
Scott: Jeff, my oldest son, graduates this year. John is just a freshman in college. I would like to see my boys get through school before I take a chance on moving to a different region of the country to be a head coach. Later in my career I would have no problem being a Division I-AA coach, but not now. Not to double talk, but right now I'm pretty happy where I'm at and I am not seeking out any of those kinds of positions.

Let's say you do move on, would you take this offense as it is or would it be a combination of this offense and what you did a Florida State?
Scott: No I think this offense is definitely in the wave of the future. The way the defenses are playing now you better be able to do the things that this offense presents itself with. I think we are recruiting the players now that it takes to be successful in it and I think there are still good days ahead for our program.

Describe what it is like having your son on the team and being a contributing factor?
Scott: Well it's been just a tremendous experience to coach your own son and have him on the team. We talked about this when I was serving as the head coach at South Carolina that I didn't think it would be fair for Jeff to be on that team. I didn't think he could ever win in that situation. Then when my situation changed and we came to Clemson he approached me just before signing date and said, Dad what I would really like to do is play on the team that you are coaching. He wants to coach so he wanted to continue to be in this type of program. To experience some of the plays that he was able to contribute to. The fake field goal touchdown against Central Florida last year that was a key part of the game and many of the other fakes he has run with the field goal unit that have been key plays in ballgames. You spend your entire career coaching other people's sons and when your son is involved in those kinds of things, then it makes it very rewarding. I think he will go on and be a fine coach and have a lot of great memories from Clemson, but as important that he and I have been able to enjoy some great experiences together not just from the coaching profession and being with me my entire career, but also now as a player. Those are some special memories that we both share together and it has just been a great and rewarding experience.

CUTigers.com Top Stories