SARASOTA, Fla. — It only takes a few stops on the red-hot Florida high school football recruiting trail to recognize the popularity of Tennessee offensive coordinator Larry Scott.
No wonder Vols coach Butch Jones said earlier this week that promoting Scott to offensive coordinator from tight ends coach was an easy decision for him when Mike DeBord left to be closer to his grandchildren in Indiana.
“Larry was an easy choice,” Jones said on the SEC coaches teleconference earlier this week. “I was able to evaluate him for a full year, in terms of what he brought to the staff and the dynamics of how he managed personalities, his input on game days and his relationships with the players.”
Jones has so much confidence in Scott that he built part of the offensive staff around him by hiring Kevin Beard to coach receivers and Mike Canales to oversee quarterbacks.
Beard, a former Miami receiver who played alongside Scott’s brother, LaVaar, had worked camps with Larry Scott and been on the same Miami coaching staff with him.
Canales was Scott’s offensive coordinator when Scott was an offensive lineman at South Florida.
All three hires are working out well for Jones, who in four years has taken Tennessee football from 2-14 vs. the SEC and on probation to back-to-back Top 25 finishes and a school-record APR.
Canales, Beard and Scott have had great success on the road recruiting, as Tennessee’s 2018 class currently ranks No. 7 in the nation according to 247Sports’ composite rankings, and features two strong quarterbacks.
Jones said it’s working out in the coaching room, too.
“We will have some changes because you have to fit scheme and system around players,” Jones said. “Larry knows our players so there has been no learning curve there.”
Scott was the interim coach at Miami in 2015 after Al Golden was fired, leading the Hurricanes to a 4-1 finish in the regular season after the school had suffered a 58-0 loss to Clemson, its most lopsided defeat in history.