FORT PAYNE — Editor's note: This is the first installment in a question-and-answer series with DeKalb County coaches, taking a look at their playing journeys and their coaching experiences. In Part 1, The Times-Journal interviewed Fort Payne's third-year golf coach Mark Scott.
Q: How long have you been involved in coaching as both a head coach and an assistant coach?
A: I started off in Virginia while student teaching. I was assistant girls track coach, working with the sprinters and jumpers and was the head (junior varsity) track coach at Wise County Central High School. My first year teaching I was a varsity football defensive backs/defensive assistant at Radford High School. I have now coached Fort Payne's boys and girls golf teams now for three years.
Q: What led you to coaching?
A: I was a five-sport athlete back in Virginia — yeah, I was busy but coming from the small town I was from, there was not much else to do than play sports, hunt and fish. I did all those things. I had some very influential coaches: my mom and dad, coaches Mike Strouth and Bob Meade (my high school football coaches), Keith Dotson (my travel basketball coach), Christopher Holt (my college coach), to name a few. I learned things about being a person of character, not just how to play a sport. I wanted to be able to pass some of that down to this generation, maybe making an impact on someone's life like my parents and coaches did for me.
Q: How would you describe your high school athletic career?
A: I played all sports. I didn't play basketball after my freshman year — messed up my throwing arm playing baseball. I stayed busy. I worked hard at everything I did. It opened a lot of doors for me.
Q: How far did golf take you as a player?
A: I started our high school team, first year by myself playing off another local high school's schedule, as an individual. The next year we had a team, my dad was my golf coach and still is. I traveled around and played on a junior tour, had a blast, made a lot of friends. I ended up playing college golf at Virginia Intermont, which doesn't even exist now.
Q: What encourages you about the future of Fort Payne's golf programs?
A: I have some young guys that want to be better, they put in the time and as they develop physically some other aspects of being a better golfer will improve at the same time. These younger guys have had some amazing mentors on the team; that has had to rub off on them and that is something that you cannot replicate any other way. The girls continue to improve and I feel like they will compete at a higher level this upcoming year as long as they continue to put in the work. Golf is a sport that you have to work at throughout the year to show improvement.
Q: What course(s) have you been most thrilled to have played, either competitively or casually?
A: The Greenbriar in West Virginia is probably at the top of the list; there is so much golf history there. The Virginian in Bristol,Va., and any of the (Robert Trent Jones) courses. Two courses that are by far not the nicest but mean a ton to me are Lake Bonaventure and Cedar Hills back in Virginia, because these are the places that Dad has taught me the game at and where my game really took off at, lots of great memories at these places.