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New coach inherits many questionmarks at Richmond
Scott expects the seniors to help impart the secret of success to his younger players.
“You have to work to make sure that the younger guys understand and appreciate it,” he said of the history, started under Dave Clawson, who left three years ago to become offensive coordinator at Tennessee, and continued under Mike London, now the head coach at Virginia.
Parker thinks the seeds for the tradition, and continuing it, are already planted.
“Once you learn how to win, you learn how not to lose,” he said. “The feeling after a game, after the ‘08 championship, that’s a feeling that you want back year after year.”
To some, the choice of Scott was curious. He had never climbed to the coordinator level at the top level in college coaching, but was widely respected as an effective recruiter. He also had served as wide receivers coach under some highly accomplished mentors _ Clawson at Richmond, Phillip Fulmer at Tennessee and Al Groh at Virginia _ all in the past three years.
Plus, athletic director Jim Miller said, one supporter made a compelling argument.
“Some people are going to tell you he’s two years away from being a head coach,” Miller said Clawson told him. “But in two years, you’re not going to be able to get him.”
Scott consults weekly with Clawson, now the head coach at Bowling Green, and said he uses things he’s learned from all his former bosses in building a staff and an approach.
He admittedly also has taken some time in adjusting to being in charge.
“I think I’m much more involved than I was in the spring,” he said. “I have a much better feel for what’s going on and kind of when and where to add my opinion. I was given the ability to hire a great staff, so I’m able to stay out of the way a lot, but also kind of insert my own opinion when needed. I’m a lot more comfortable than I was in the spring.”
It helps that six of his assistants are holdovers from London’s staff, and that defensive coordinator Bob Trott and defensive line coach Chad Wilt came with him from Virginia.
He and London also compared notes this summer as they swapped sides, he said, but those exchanges were limited because the teams open against each other at Virginia on Sept. 4.
It will be, Gray said, their first of many experiences they relish as underdogs.
“We like it,” he said. “We like being looked over. It gives us the ability to show up every day, like we’re supposed to, take it one week at a time, and handle our business.”
By Tammy Bruce
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