Former Catamount now flying high with NFL’s NY Jets

After coaching 13 seasons of high school and college football in six states, John Scott Jr. ’00 has joined the ranks of the National Football League. The New York Jets hired Scott in February to be the team’s defensive quality-control coach. He is among several new faces joining the staff of new head coach Todd Bowles.

Scott most recently was at the University of Buffalo. The Jets hired him just one month after he joined the coaching staff at UB, where he helped recruit two players expected to play major roles for the team’s defense.


Photo courtesy of the N.Y. Jets

Although grateful for the chance to coach at Buffalo, Scott said he jumped at the opportunity to work for the Jets. “It has always been a goal of mine to coach at the highest level,” Scott said. “When Coach Bowles offered me the opportunity to join the Jets staff, I knew that it would be a chance to learn from some of the greatest minds in the sport and to grow as a coach.”

A former member of the admissions office staff at WCU, Scott previously spent two seasons coaching the defensive line at Texas Tech. He also coached at Georgia Southern for three seasons, Missouri State for one season, WCU for three seasons, and Norfolk State for one season.

His first coaching job was at West Davidson High School, where he served as defensive line coach for one year. Scott then moved to Louisiana for graduate school. He served as a graduate assistant football coach at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, where he earned his master’s degree in education in 2006.

Growing up in Greer, South Carolina, Scott played on the high school football team that won the state championship in 1994. While at WCU, he lettered at the defensive end position all of his four years on the Catamount team. He led all defensive linemen in tackles for the 1997 season and was a second team All-Southern Conference selection.

After graduating with a degree in communication, Scott played several years of professional football. He was the Greensboro Prowlers’ 2000 defensive player of the year in the Arena Football 2 league. In 2003, he participated in preseason camp for the Canadian Football League’s Montreal Alouettes. He returned to WCU in 2006, serving as defensive end, defensive line and outbacker line coach until 2008, when he accepted the position at Missouri State.

“My time at WCU has shaped my entire coaching career. From competing as a Catamount, to serving as an admissions officer and eventually to working on the coaching staff, I was able to build the foundation from which I have honed my professional skills,” he said. “At WCU, I learned the value of professionalism, hard work and a determination to be the best human being I can be.”

Scott and his wife, Stephanie McKoy Scott ’00, are the parents of two children.

CORRECTION: An earlier online version of this story said Scott and his wife, Stephanie McKoy Scott ’00, are the parents of two children. The couple actually divorced last year. The Magazine of Western Carolina University regrets the error.