Throughout the 2017-18 season, U SPORTS sits down with one key athlete, coach, and staff member of each U SPORTS athletic program in our new interview series “Getting to know…”
- Name: Dave Scott-Thomas
- School: University of Guelph
- Sport: Cross country / Track and Field
- Position: Head coach
- Seniority: 21 years
- Previous school/position: Kingston Literacy / Adult education teacher
- Hometown: Guelph, Ont.
1. How did you first get involved in coaching? What was your path to your position as head coach of Guelph Gryphons?
I finished grad school in environmental physiology and slugged away variously in fisheries, education, adult literacy, janitor, worm picker, and concession manager. I just slipped on every lower rung of the ladder possible, edging towards enlightenment. I haven't made it past coaching yet.
2. Who are the people that have influenced you most as a coach?
My mom, Elaine, wife Brenda, our three daughters, brothers John and Rod, every athlete who's been kind enough to put their trust in sharing their vision and opinions with me, coaching colleagues, staff, community members, my old team-mates etc. So many people have been part of my learning.
3. How would you describe your coaching style?
Dear Lord, who can answer that objectively. A progression to maximum entropy? Ask my team.....
4. Which coach do you admire the most, and why?
I don't really have anyone in that regard. I'm not that into sports.
5. What is the most “out-of-the-box” thing you’ve done as a coach?
Fundamentally, I hope we're creating a space where people challenge the status quo, their traditional conceptions of authority, and are willing to reconceive the sporting monoculture, which should not be out of the box at all…But it's beyond my skill set to make this sound clever, so you just get it straight up.
6. What is your greatest coaching moment or achievement?
All three of our daughters were born during national championship events and I was able to see each one come into the world. Also, still being in touch with so many wonderful people I've worked with and know that our time in athletics was just the starting point.
7. What’s the best advice you can give to an athlete and/or athlete’s parents?
Athletes, stop reading this and get to work; parents, cut the cord, your child is going to have the regular amount of adversity and figure it out.
8. How have you changed as a coach over time. What principles/values etc., have remained the same?
Well, that's a big life question and only enough space here to sound trite or obvious. We need a good cup of coffee and old friends with a clear and lengthy view, or maybe a good road trip.
9. What do you enjoy doing when you’re not in coaching mode?
Pretty standard stuff: hang out with friends, read, make some music, hit a concert, paddle, rocketry.
10. What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you as a coach?
Heck no, that's not getting answered.