As Chad Scott enters his fifth season as the strength and conditioning coach at Charleston Southern and his 14th year working in the field, it's hard to believe he almost went down a completely different career path. The former fullback and long snapper at Eastern Kentucky said it all started when his strength coach saw his passion for strength and conditioning and recommended he get into coaching.
"I originally told him no because I was a political science major and I was planning on going to law school after I graduated," Scott said. "A few months before the start of law school, I realized that wasn't the path I wanted to go, so I called him up and he got me into the field."
Scott implements and oversees the strength and conditioning program for all 14 varsity sports at CSU and has played a critical role in the success of the Bucs' football program. We sat down with Scott ahead of Saturday's last regular-season game and got to know more about the man who helped CSU capture its first-ever outright Big South Conference championship and FCS Playoff bid in 2015.
Favorite pro-sports team: Cincinnati Bengals
Favorite pre-game meal: I pretty much eat whatever's around. I lost 100 pounds since last year, so I've been eating more salads and grilled chicken these days. I will say that anytime we go to Alabama, I've got to find a Whataburger.
What is your spirit animal As a strength coach, it would probably be a donkey. I say that because you're behind the scenes doing a lot of work, trying to pull your weight.
Do you have a nickname? During my four years playing football at Eastern Kentucky, my coach called me Chett because he literally thought my name was Chett. My senior year, he asked me why someone called me Chad and I told him that was my real name. All my old roommates in college called me Chett because of that and they still do to this day.
What's your favorite exercise? My favorite kind of exercise would have to be curls.
Most surprising/embarrassing song on your iPhone: I'm really into 80's music, so I would probably have to say any song by the group Heart. I really dig Heart.
Two words to describe you on the field: Loose and focused
Two words to describe you off the field: Loose and focused- I'm really the same person on the field and in the weight room as I am at home.
Best advice you've ever gotten: I think the best advice I've ever gotten would be to stay true to who you are and live in the present moment.
Favorite ice cream flavor: Chocolate Peanut Butter
Mountains or beach? I would probably say the beach. My wife, Elizabeth, and I got married in the Virgin Islands, so we're beach people.
Favorite sporting moment from your time here at CSU: I have so many favorite sporting moments from CSU, and I could go with one from every sport- that's the beauty about being a strength coach. One of the coolest things I've ever seen was when basketball was playing Ole Miss two years ago and the football team and I were up at Liberty. The football team was in the conference room watching the game, and I was actually sitting out in the hallway, listening to Kevin O'Rourke on the radio on my phone because the television feed kept going in and out. Cedric ends up making the winning dunk, and I go blowing into the conference room screaming and yelling 'We won, we won!' When I did that, everybody turned and looked at me confused, and I looked up at the screen and it was frozen—they hadn't seen it yet. I just kind of sat back and put my hand over my mouth and said, 'Just give it a second,' and right as I said that, the game unfroze on the TV and everyone saw Cedric's dunk and everybody went crazy. Coach Chadwell just kind of looks over at me and is like, 'Nice job, way to screw it up for everybody.' It was hilarious. It was just so neat to see that kind of support, seeing the football guys so excited, jumping up and down, sprinting around the room as if they had just won a championship.
As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? I think as a kid, I wanted to be a doctor or a policeman.
Favorite TV show: My wife has really got me into NCIS, but right now, my three kids have me hooked on the Mickey Mouse Club. It's my favorite because it gets everybody locked in and on the couch where nobody moves.
How old are your kids? I have a six-year-old boy, Gavin, a three-year-old son named Mason, and Arianna is my two-year-old girl.
What place would you most like to visit? I would probably say Fiji or the Maldives.
What is your favorite sport to watch/play: My favorite sport to watch right now is college basketball. I'm a big Kentucky Wildcats fan. I think my favorite sport to play is golf. I enjoy it, but I'm just not any good at it, so it's probably between golf and fishing.
If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be? I'm a big pizza guy. I could probably eat pizza every single day for the rest of my life and be okay.
What's your perfect pizza? My perfect pizza would probably be a mixture between a meat lovers and a supreme, so as big as possible. I'm also of the belief that no one has ever made a bad pizza.
If you were a superhero, what superpower would you have? I think it would be really cool to fly.
If you could go back in time, what decade would you travel to? If I could go back in time I think the 40's and 50's would be really neat. The style and the era as a whole was just cool.
What do you enjoy most about being a strength and conditioning coach at CSU? I enjoy being around the athletes the most. They keep me moving, they keep me young and in tune with some of the things they're dealing with. I think the best part is when you see someone who is 18-years-old and they really have no clue what direction their life is going. You get to watch them mature and become men and women, future husbands and wives, and fathers and mothers. When you see that development and know there's a possibility you had a small hand in that, it's very rewarding.
Scott says, while he's been in the business for over ten years, he's still learning plenty everyday in his role as CSU's head strength and conditioning coach.
"I've been a strength and conditioning coach for about 14 years now and it's taken me that long to really get a pretty good read on people, on how to act and what triggers and motivates them," Scott said. "You really get to know the athletes on a personal level. I think if you don't know them on that level, they won't respond to you."
Scott will be standing proudly with the Buccaneers this Saturday as No. 13 CSU hosts No. 22 Kennesaw State. The Bucs will be fighting for the Big South Conference title and the FCS playoff berth that's at stake. Kickoff is set for 11:45 a.m. and the game will be broadcast on ESPN3. Fans can also listen on csuports.com, with pregame coverage starting at 11:30 a.m.