When you hit rock bottom, there’s only one way to go.
Following an 0-10 season this past fall, and the resignation of Gainesville High football coach Dock Pollard in late October, the Hurricanes were seeking a candidate who could restore the tradition of Hurricanes’ football.
On Wednesday, GHS announced that alum Ian Scott had been hired as its next football coach after a national head football search.
On Thursday, he was formally introduced.
“It’s a great day to be a Hurricane,” GHS principal Dan Ferguson said as he addressed members of the football team, administrators, and family members. “On behalf of Gainesville High School and the entire Gainesville family, I’m thrilled to welcome Josef Ian Scott as our next head football coach.”
Scott, who graduated as the school’s Valedictorian in 2000, won two state championships as a member of the Hurricanes’ basketball team and was a part of two state playoff appearances in football during his high school career.
He was also an All-SEC selection for two seasons at the University of Florida and was drafted in the fourth round of the NFL draft by the Chicago Bears, where he got an opportunity to play and start in Super Bowl XLI.
“He’s excelled at everything,” Ferguson said. “But most impressive to me, about Coach Scott, is his deep conviction and high moral character.”
Ferguson said he’s the type of person that parents will want their child to be around, both on and off the field.
Academics will come first for Scott, who graduated with a degree in industrial engineering while playing football.
“Thank you for allowing me an opportunity to be able to come back here,” Scott said after the warm welcome. “It’s something that my wife and I have dreamed about for a while. It hadn’t worked out until now. The timing that things work out is sometimes funny but we’re definitely in the place we want to be and the right time that we want to be here.”
Scott said that the opportunity to “bring the community right into what it means to be a Hurricane” is something that was a big part of what it was like when he was at GHS.
“Everybody was everywhere,” he said. “I have very fond memories of being here and walking around this campus and being a part of the community here. I think that’s what sets us apart from some of the other places and it’s something I want to be able to see us do.”
He wants to bring some of that same kind of energy and excitement back to Gainesville High School.
“Especially the football program that we want to see and that we want to have,” he said.
Scott served as a graduate assistant coach at Florida (2017-2018), assistant defensive line coach at UCF (2018-2021) and as defensive line coach at Central Michigan (2021-2023) under former Florida coach Jim McElwain.
This fall he’ll be roaming the sidelines in the purple and white.
“I’m ready to get started,” Scott said. “And I encourage you (players) to be the best that you can be. Let’s get to work.”