BLACKSBURG – Virginia Tech head coach Justin Fuente announced Monday that he has completed his coaching staff at Tech with the addition of former Memphis defensive coordinator/linebackers coach Galen Scott. Scott will serve as linebackers coach on Fuente’s staff for the Hokies.
Scott brings 15 years of collegiate coaching experience to Tech, at three different stops. He coached at his alma mater Illinois State for seven seasons, after an All-American playing career with the Redbirds, before working two years at Tulsa and the last six seasons at Memphis.
“We’re pleased to round out our coaching staff with the addition of Galen Scott,” Fuente said. “Coach Scott will be a solid complement to Coach (Bud) Foster and the rest of our defensive staff. Galen has been instrumental in developing opportunistic defenses and award-winning players throughout his career. I know he’s excited to help build on the tradition of great defense that has been established at Virginia Tech.”
Scott, who was named the 2005 American Football Coaches Association I-AA Coach of the Year, took over the defensive coordinator position at Memphis for the 2015 season. Despite losing eight starters, he helped the Tigers back to a bowl game for only the ninth time in school history.
In the Birmingham Bowl game against Auburn, his secondary intercepted three passes, one of which was returned for the Tigers’ only touchdown of the day that tied the game at 10-10 just before the half. Also, Shareef White finished the contest with a career-high and team season-high 17 tackles. Memphis held four opponents under 20 points this season, including a 63-0 shutout against SMU in Fuente’s final game coaching the Tigers.
In 2014, Scott mentored a unit which ranked 11th in the FBS in scoring defense, allowing 19.5 points per game. The Tigers ranked 27th nationally in total defense, giving up 349.5 yards an outing. Memphis’ 106.31 defensive pass efficiency rating led the American Athletic Conference and ranked eighth nationally while the Tigers’ 121.5 rushing defense average ranked 19th nationally.
The defensive performance by Memphis in 2014 played a pivotal role in the Tigers winning the American Athletic Conference championship, the team’s first league title since 1971. At 10-3, Memphis equaled a school record for victories which had stood since 1938.
In his career, Scott has coached five players to all-conference accolades with his most recent being 2014 American Athletic Conference Co-Defensive Player of the Year Tank Jakes and 2014 Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year Charles Harris. He also saw Jamon Hughes and James Lockett earn All-Conference USA nods while his most successful protégé was arguably Boomer Grigsby.
A fifth-round draft choice of the Kansas City Chiefs in 2005, Grigsbgy was a three-time Gateway Football Conference Defensive Player of the Year for the Redbirds and also earned All-American status three times. During Grigsby’s tenure at Illinois State he broke Scott’s school record for career tackles.
During Scott’s four-year playing career (1997-2000), he set Redbirds’ records for tackles in a game, season and career. He also helped Illinois State to its first Gateway Conference title (1999) and a pair of NCAA Division I-AA playoff appearances (1998, 1999).
Scott, a native of Orlando, Florida, was named to four All-America teams and was only the fifth player in school history to earn All-America status in three different seasons. He also snagged All-Gateway Conference honors each of his four seasons and was a member of the 1997 All-Gateway Newcomer Team.
An honor roll student at Illinois State, he set Redbirds tackles records for a game (27) and season (186). He was the first Illinois State player to exceed 500 career tackles, and his final figure was 109 more hits than the previous record holder, Wilbert Brown. Scott’s single-game mark (27 tackles) ranks No. 5 in Gateway Conference history and his season total (186) is No. 7 in the league’s annals. His career number ranks No. 3 in conference history.
Scott received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Illinois State. He and his wife, Tashauna, are parents of a daughter, Ryan, born in May of 2010, and a son, Reid, born in November of 2013.