February 16, 2016
Scott a good fit among the Tech coaches on defense
Scott's high-energy style should mesh nicely with Bud Foster and Charley Wiles

By Jimmy Robertson

Justin Fuente probably felt obligated to offer a position on his coaching staff to Galen Scott.

After all, the two were roommates while working on the staff at Illinois State. While there, Scott introduced Fuente to the woman who ultimately became Fuente’s wife. The two know each other well, which can work in either’s favor.

“I know some good stuff,” Scott joked. “I told him that if he didn’t hire me, it was all going out there. I had to make sure I had a job.”

Kidding aside, Fuente probably never thought twice about bringing Scott aboard his staff in Blacksburg. He named Scott the defensive tackles coach on Jan. 4 and Scott represented the final piece to the staff at the time – though secondary coach Torrian Gray recently left to take an assistant coaching position at the University of Florida.

Scott has been working with two coaches experienced in all things Virginia Tech. Fuente retained coordinator Bud Foster and defensive ends coach Charley Wiles and he obviously thought the high-energy style of Scott would mesh with the intense Foster.

“I hadn’t met him [Foster] before, but I knew his guys, just watching them on film,” Scott said. “A guy whom I played for, Coach Randall McCray [now the defensive coordinator at Gardner-Webb], met with him all the time. We ran the same defense at Illinois State – or tried to.

“I knew from watching them on film that they were aggressive. They were going to get after you pretty good, and they always played hard. That’s what intrigued me. Then, watching them even these past few years, there isn’t anything that has fallen off. So, that’s what I was excited and intrigued about.”

Scott spent the past six seasons at Memphis, serving the first two of those seasons under Larry Porter, who was fired following a 2-10 campaign in 2011. Fuente retained Scott after getting the Memphis job, and Scott served as the linebackers coach for three seasons before assuming the defensive coordinator job this past season.

Scott had no problem giving up coordinator duties to be a part of the Tech staff.

“Whatever he needs me to do, I’ll do,” Scott said of Foster. “Whatever we need to do, I’ll make it work.”

Scott, a Florida native, was a three-time All-American during his days at Illinois State from 1997-2000. Following his senior season, he decided to get into coaching and McCray hired him as a graduate assistant.

Scott later took what was then known as a restricted earnings position at Illinois State. That was when he came into contact with Fuente for the first time. Fuente later served as the quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator for the Redbirds.

The two of them roomed together for three years. Perhaps no one on Tech’s staff knows Fuente better than Scott.

“He coaches offense like a defensive coordinator,” Scott said. “If you just walked out on the field and didn’t know which side of the ball was which and saw coaches just coaching, most people think it’s the defensive coordinator just yelling and chasing people down the field and that type of stuff, but it’s really across the board. We coach offense the same way a lot of people coach defense. We get after people.”

Scott coached at Illinois State from 2001-07, serving as the defensive coordinator his final two seasons. From there, he went to Tulsa, where he coached defensive backs for two seasons. In 2010, he joined Porter’s staff at Memphis and was later reunited with Fuente.

Shortly after arriving, Scott couldn’t wait to get started recruiting for the Hokies. Less than a week coming to Blacksburg, he hit the road with most of the rest of the staff to secure future stars. It wouldn’t surprise anyone to see him recruiting a lot on his home turf in Florida, where he grew up.

“It’s always a challenge,” Scott said of recruiting for a new school. “You’re going some place new. But it was the same at Memphis. I’ve been at Tulsa, Memphis, Illinois State, and I’m from Florida. There is always a different deal wherever you go.

“If you can relate to kids and let them know you care about them and you can get that across in your message … and then you’ve got a good product to sell. I think we should be fine. We’ll go into areas and get to know good people. Hopefully, they get to know us the same way and we’ll sell a good product.”

Scott said he’d probably be a teacher if he weren’t in coaching. Yet there isn’t a lot of difference between the two. His first class begins in roughly a month when the Hokies open spring practice. It shouldn’t take him too long to find out what he has in his position meeting classroom – and more importantly, where he needs to take them.

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