By Tia Humphries and Chanté Russell, News Vision and Howard University News Service
Washington– President Wayne Fredrick and Howard University Director of Athletics Kery Davis formally announced former University of Florida Gators tight end coach Larry Scott as the new head coach of the Howard University Bison football team in a press conference last Thursday.
President Frederick began the conference by taking “full responsibility” for the recurring event of naming a head coach at Howard, comparing the event to Groundhog Day. Scott will be the fourth head coach to helm the team in three years.
“I’ll take full responsibility for that upfront, you know, securing a head football coach is not an easy task,” said Frederick. “It’s a decision that’s obviously fraught with difficulty in making sure you make the right decision. We’ve had a fairly extensive process, again, to make sure that we identify someone who we believe is compatible with our values and what we’re trying to do.”
Davis spoke after Frederick, sharing some of the characteristics his team emphasized during their search.
“Football acumen came to mind. Someone who came from a winning culture, a leader of men, a passionate and compassionate advocate for student-athletes and their welfare, someone who could understand how to succeed in an academic environment. Someone who understood the mission of Howard University, and was committed to a whole holistic coaching approach that would nurture the next generation of leaders. Someone to promote a family atmosphere. Finally, someone who sees Howard as a destination,” said Davis.
The holistic coaching approach mentioned by Davis was echoed by Scott during his emotional speech. He shed tears while discussing his philosophy as a coach, relationship with football and vision for Howard’s program.
Scott’s resume includes coaching positions at the University of Miami, the University of Tennessee and the University of South Florida, where he played. During his time at Miami Scott served as interim head coach for the final six games of the 2015 season, leading the team with a 4-2 record and a Sun Bowl appearance.
“When a young man acknowledges you as his coach he’s not just giving you a name, he’s allowing you in to impact his life,” said Scott. “What a great responsibility that is and it’s not to be taken lightly so I appreciate it.”
Throughout his speech Scott emphasized the importance of having a process while pursuing goals as well as coaching philosophies of criticizing performance rather than the individual and praising louder than critiquing.
In response to questions about his recruiting strategy as a head coach being announced the day after National Signing Day, Scott noted four scholarship recipients who have signed with Howard and said that a few scholarship slots have been left open. He also shared that his staff will place a special focus on recruiting locally.
Previous head football coach Ron Prince resigned in December following a short and controversial tenure. Prince was hired in December 2018 and placed on leave in November 2019 while the University investigated claims of verbal abuse and intimidation following the publication of a letter signed from an anonymous parent of a Howard football player.