KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee’s Larry Scott has not called plays nor been an offensive coordinator at the collegiate level, but the 40-year-old says he has been working his whole life toward this opportunity.
“You take the bull by the horns and take over whatever role you’ve been given,” Scott said Friday after being named the Vols’ new offensive coordinator, replacing Mike DeBord, who left to become Indiana’s offensive coordinator.
“I’ve been preparing myself for 40 years, since I got into football,” Scott said. “Every day I’ve come to work, I’ve attacked it. I’ve taken a hold of every opportunity I’ve been given and strived to be the best.”
Scott played offensive tackle at South Florida, and during his career he has coached running backs, offensive line, tight ends and served as an interim head coach of the Miami Hurricanes at the end of the 2015 season.
Thus, Scott said, “You fall back on that foundation that has been built.”
Tennessee coach Butch Jones is doing much the same in promoting Scott from special teams/tight ends coach to offensive coordinator.
The Vols aren’t going to change the offensive scheme Jones brought with him four years ago. The team has improved its scoring average each of the past four years and set a single-season record for points and touchdowns this season.
Scott said the continuity his promotion brings “is important for every coach in the (offensive meeting) room, because chemistry is everything.”
Once Jones identified Scott as the top offensive coordinator candidate, he included him in the interviews of several potential quarterback coaches.
Scott felt more comfortable with new UT QB coach Mike Canales, who was South Florida’s offensive coordinator when Scott played for the Bulls (1996-1999).
Jones also goes back to the 1990s with Canales, having first visited him while coaching at Ferris State in Michigan, and again while at West Virginia as the receivers coach.
Scott indicated that regardless of what skeptics or outsiders might think about his promotion, he’s confident.
“I’m very confident in the decision our head coach makes, and I’m confident in the players we have in the program,” Scott said. “It’s not just football, but anything in life. If you keep changing the pieces, how does anything get better? How does it ever grow?
“Continuity, and the idea of something being consistent, is critical in developing anything.”
As for Canales, Scott said he fit the description of what Jones said he was looking for as a quarterbacks coach.
“You talk about the young quarterbacks, that’s why coach (Jones) was adamant about having a quarterbacks coach who is very experienced,” Scott said. “I’ve seen what coach Canales can do with young quarterbacks and how he develops them as players and people.”
Fans will get their first look at what Scott’s version of the Tennessee offensive looks like at the annual Orange-and-White Game, recently announced for April 22 at Neyland Stadium.
Tennessee new offensive coordinator Larry Scott
Posted by Tennessee Volunteers Insiders on Friday, January 20, 2017