Former Clemson coach talked about the wave of support he got from Swinney on down in Tigertown
It was just a little over a week ago when Jeff Scott got home and was settling in for the night when he got a call from Dabo Swinney around 11:30 p.m.
“Hey boy! What are you doing,” Swinney asked?
“I am at home Coach getting ready to get a shower and get some rest,” Scott replied.
“You are not going to believe who just called me,” Swinney said. “Michael Kelly from the University of South Florida just called me. Let me tell you! This is one of them jobs you want!
“It is a great university, great location, great conference, great recruiting base right in your backyard. You can win there, and they have a great athletic director in Michael Kelly.”
Scott was sold.
“To be honest that is all I needed to hear,” Clemson’s former co-offensive coordinator said. “From that point on, I was focused on trying to get that job.”
Scott officially got the job on Monday and on Wednesday was formally introduced as South Florida’s new head coach during an introductory press conference in Tampa, Florida. He will work for the next week for South Florida as he builds his coaching staff and does other administrative tasks. Scott plans to return to Clemson late next week and will coach the Tigers one last time during their College Football Playoff run.
Clemson, the No. 3 seed in the CFP, will play No. 2 Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl on Dec. 28. The winner will advance to the national championship game on Jan. 13 in New Orleans.
Scott talked about how much Swinney’s support, and from all of the Clemson Family, meant to him and his wife, Sarah, during the whole process. After it was officially announced on Monday he was taking the job at South Florida, he said his phone was flooded with text messages of support from his Clemson friends and how they now have two teams to pull for.
Scott pointed out how one of his best friends and colleagues, Clemson co-offensive coordinator Tony Elliott, was in attendance to support him on Wednesday, as well as the guy who is going to replace him as Clemson’s new receivers’ coach, Tyler Grisham.
“Many of you have probably heard about the Clemson family and that is a great example of that as well,” Scott said. “There is no doubt that my family has been blessed to be a part of one of the best runs in college football history at Clemson. But more importantly than anything is the people that I leave behind at Clemson.
“Even though it was a very emotional time leaving our alma mater and where we spent our last 12 years, a huge wave of support from everybody from the top down has made this transition so easy.”
Scott comes to South Florida hoping to turn around a program that has a relatively good football history. Now in their 23rd season, the Bulls have won more games than any other Florida school in its first 20 years of existence. South Florida has already participated in 15 bowl games in its short history.
As for Scott, he wants to take the program to another level. He wants to win conference championships and get the Bulls to a New Year’s Six Bowl Game.
However, he vows to do it the right way. He vows to build a culture similar to the way Swinney built the Clemson program.
“We just need to bring all of our energies and efforts and bring them together. It reminds me so much of where we were at Clemson in 2008,” Scott said. “Coach Swinney bringing in that vision and getting everybody on the same page, getting everybody with the mindset that the best is yet to come.”
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