By LARRY VAUGHT
For Chad Scott, coaching running backs at Kentucky really is a dream job.
“It means a lot to me. It is like coming back home. It is a dream job for me and I can say that for a lot of reasons. It’s obviously where I started my college football career and I turned down a lot of great opportunities to come here,” said Scott. “Also my wife graduated from here, so it is huge for me. And it is always a place she wanted to come and live. It is a great honor to be back where I started.”
Scott worked with UK offensive coordinator Neal Brown at Troy and then at Texas Tech. They were also teammates together at UK when Scott ran for 611 yards as a freshman in 2000 to earn all-Southeastern Conference freshman honors and third-team freshman all-American honors. Scott played in eight games as a sophomore when he was hampered by an ankle injury and rushed for 210 yards before transferring to North Carolina. After gaining only 182 yards his junior season, he ran for 796 yards and eight scores as a senior and was seventh in the Atlantic Coast Conference in rushing.
He spent time with the Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Giants in 2005 before ending his NFL aspirations before pursuing his goal of becoming a college coach. The Plant City, Fla., married UK basketball player Shambrica Jones of Yazoo City, Miss., and she was an assistant coach at Morehead when he got a chance to work at North Carolina as a video graduate assistant in 2006 and 2007.
“It was tough because my wife was coaching at Morehead and I was kind of bouncing back and forth in the NFL. When all that stuff went away, I started to pursue coaching and got an opportunity to go to North Carolina as a video GA,” Scott said.
However, things didn’t go exactly as he planned. He thought he had a place to live, but by the time he got to North Carolina that had changed and led him to do something few would ever do in order for him to pursue his dream of coaching college football.
“I had been living in Morehead for a year or so and not able to find a (college coaching) job. Even though my wife was taking care of me, being a man that was kind of hard to deal with,” Scott said. (North Carolina coach) John Bunting gave me a chance to come back as a video GA and even when living there didn’t work out, I didn’t want to make excuses about it.
“I didn’t want to bring it to anybody’s attention because I didn’t want anybody feeling sorry for me. I just wanted the opportunity to coach and I was going to do whatever it took to do it. The first night I slept in the building in the players’ lounge. One of the janitors turned the vacuum cleaner on and woke me up. I felt kind of embarrassed and that kind of spooked me.
“From that point on, I slept in my car. I would pull it around to the back of the building and sleep in the car. We were in the office all night any way most nights and had to be up early. For about a year I got about three or four hours sleep a night. I would be the last person out of the building and I had to be the first person back. I slept in that car for about seven months Nobody knew it.”
That eventually changed when he was with Bunting one night and the coach asked him what he was doing.
“I told him. He said, ‘Are you kidding me? Are you serious? How long have you been doing this?’ I told him and he wanted to know why I hadn’t said anything,” Scott said. “I told him I didn’t want anybody feeling bad for me and I wanted this opportunity. I told him, ‘I told you when I took this job I would do whatever it took. I would put in the hours, do the work, bust my butt and I didn’t want any favors or have anything handed to me.’ That’s why I was the first person in the building and last person to leave.”