By Michelle E. Shaw
To the students, faculty and staff of Milton High School, offensive line coach Mike Scott was a big deal.
Scott had a big presence, a big voice and a big heart. For those reasons, and others, the football coach was affectionately called Big Show.
“You just had to see the way he interacted with everybody,” said Gary Sylvestri, Milton athletic director. “You just knew he cared about them and wanted the best for them. You can’t help but love a guy like that.”
In October, Michael Thomas Scott of Canton was diagnosed with stage IV adenocarcinoma, a cancer that began in his pancreas and spread to his liver and lungs. He was given six to eight months to live. Scott, 36, died Saturday.
The Scott family will receive friends from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. Wednesday at Lakeside Funeral Home in Woodstock, which is in charge of arrangements. The funeral is planned for 1 p.m. Thursday at the Woodstock First Baptist Church, with burial at 4 p.m. at Oak Knoll Memorial Gardens, Rome.
Born in Hamilton, Ohio, four days before Christmas, Scott played football at the University of Kentucky, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in 1998. He later earned a master’s in education from North Georgia College and State University in 2010. Scott played offensive line for Kentucky, but was sidelined by his health in his third year, said Todd Perry, who coached the offensive line with Scott at Milton.
“We just missed each other at Kentucky, but we knew of each other because we both played offensive line,” said Perry, who left Kentucky the year before Scott arrived. “But when he couldn’t play anymore, that opened the door to coaching for him.”
Scott’s coaching career started at Kentucky, where he was a student coach, and included stops at Trinity University in Texas, the University of Central Florida, the University of West Georgia, Southeastern Louisiana University, and the University of West Alabama.
“Every coach should want a Mike Scott on their team,” said Howie DeCristofaro, Milton head football coach.
“He was a big, strong guy who’d be in there lifting weights with the kids, bench pressing 365 (pounds) and showing them how easy it was, and they’re looking at him like, ‘Jeez, when do I get to do that?’ But he was always doing something for the kids, with the kids, and not just the ones he coached, but the ones he might coach and the ones he’d never coach,” DeCristofaro said.
For Scott, his work on and off the football field was more than just sports. He was dispensing life lessons, Perry said.
“Don’t get me wrong,” he said. “Mike was a great football coach. But he was an even better teacher.”
Scott is survived by his wife of nearly 8 years, Mary Jane Bray Scott; daughter, Abigail “Abby” Scott; and son, Anthony Michael Scott, all of Canton; father, Waller Massie Scott Jr. of West Chester, Ohio; and sister, Debbie Scott Harrison of Nicholasville, Ky.
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Rest In Peace, Coach Mike – DeSean Jackson, CEO, DeSean Jackson Foundation, Gayle Jackson, President-Co Founder
Please visit: www.deseanjacksonfoundation.org, to learn more about the DeSean Jackson Foundation.