Fast riser

Given the fickle nature of the coaching profession, it isn't often a football coach gives up the security of a fulltime job at one school, to take a step down and become a graduate assistant coach at another.

But so far, Jeff Scott's coaching career has not been like anyone else's.

The former Clemson player, who is best known for his fake field goal for a touchdown against Central Florida in 2001, has risen up the coaching profession with great success perhaps better than anyone for his age.

After graduating from Clemson in 2003, Scott got in the coaching ranks at the high school level and became head coach at Blythewood High School in 2006, where he led the Columbia-based school to a state championship in his first season.

In 2007, he joined Bob Bentley's staff at Presbyterian College as an assistant coach. At the time, he felt like Clinton was the place he was going to stay for a while, but when a graduate assistant position opened at Clemson last spring, he jumped at the opportunity to coach with his father, current Clemson offensive line coach Brad Scott.

"I took a little bit of a risky move in the football profession in leaving a full-time job at Presbyterian to go and be a graduate assistant," he said. "There are a lot of people scratching their heads about that, but my biggest thing is to know if I can get there and get in front of them and work every day with them that hopefully they will see something in me that maybe down the line will allow them to hire me one day."

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney saw enough in Jeff Scott to make him his receivers coach after Swinney took over the football program for Tommy Bowden, who resigned last October.

"I have just really enjoyed watching him work," Swinney said. "Here is a young man that played here and bleeds orange and became a good high school assistant, then becomes a good high school head coach and wins the state championship in his first year, and then takes a full time job at Presbyterian and then walks away from that job as the passing game coordinator to come here and be a GA."

In working with the defense at first and then making the move to offense so smoothly following Bowden's departure, Swinney noticed the great job the 27-year old was doing and knew it was time to reward him for his efforts and name him as his recruiting coordinator.

After graduating from Clemson in 2003, Scott got in the coaching ranks at the high school level and became head coach at Blythewood High School in 2006, where he led the Columbia based school to a state championship in his first season.
"He did a tremendous job here, and has done a super, super job for me since October 13 in helping me," the Clemson coach said. "He is very thorough, very detailed and I'm excited to see him put his hands on this recruiting and pick it up where Billy (Napier) has left off and hopefully take it to another level."

That should not be a problem considering what he has to work with. With assistant coaches like Kevin Steele, Napier, David Blackwell, Charlie Harbison, Chris Rumph, Andre Powell, his father and Danny Pearman, Scott has some of the best recruiting coaches in the Southeast and maybe the country for that matter, and let's not forget about Swinney as one of the top recruiters in the country as well.

"The biggest thing I really feel good about is the staff that we have," Scott said. "Obviously, other coaches we have had in the past have done a good job, but I really think we have done well with the coaches we have brought in here recruiting wise.

"They are going to be really, really strong. It is tough splitting up the state of South Carolina when you have nine guys that you feel are strong recruiters. Everyone, as you know, wants a piece of that pie, but that is a good problem as opposed to some situations where you feel you have to hide somebody somewhere."

The only person Clemson is going to hide is Scott himself. He has moved up the coaching ladder so fast, it is going to be difficult to hide him from other schools, which one day might start calling for his services.

"It has been fast, there is no doubt about it," he said. "I feel blessed with the opportunities. Obviously these are some dreams and aspirations that I have had, but I would be lying to you if I told you I would work up this way this fast.

"It has happened fast. I think the biggest thing is I have been around the right people and that's part of it, and then working hard when you get the opportunity." Top Stories