The Memphis football team opened up their preseason camp today. Check out some highlights from the first day and hear from junior DB Bobby McCain and head coach Justin Fuente.
Galen Scott, who is in his sixth season at the University of Memphis, was named the Tigers’ defensive coordinator following the 2014 season. In addition to serving as linebackers coach, a role he will continue to have in 2015, last year Scott had the additional responsibilities of being the team’s associate head coach.
Scott previously worked with Memphis head coach Justin Fuente from 2001-06 and remained with the Tigers staff when Fuente was given the reins of the Memphis program following the 2011 season.
As a member of Memphis’ defensive coaching staff, Scott mentored a unit which ranked 11th in FBS Football in scoring defense, allowing just 195 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 was 19th nationally.
The defensive performance played a leading 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 has solely stood since 1938.
Memphis capped the season with a double-overtime win over BYU in the inaugural Miami Beach Bowl.
Individually, Scott coached Tank Jakes, the American Athletic Conference’s Co-Defensive Player of the Year in 2014. Jakes, who led Memphis with 92 total tackles in 2014 and had a program top-10 performance with 15.5 tackles for lost yardage, was also named the John Bramlett Defensive Player of the Year for the second time in three seasons.
Scott also coached Charles Harris, who concluded his career as a three-year starter with 211 total tackles. Harris was named the American Athletic Conference's Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
In 2013, Memphis ranked No. 39 in total defense (370.7 ppg allowed) and No. 12 against the run (116.3 ypg allowed).
Three of Scott’s linebackers ranked among the top four tacklers on the team. Harris led the team with 74 tackles while Jakes registered 71 stops including 8.5 tackles for loss which ranked third on the team. Second-year starting linebacker Anthony Brown finished with 52 tackles and was named the team’s John Bramlett Defensive Player of the Year at the conclusion of the 2013 season.
During the 2013 season Memphis held four opponents under 100 yards rushing and only one player rushed for more than 100 yards in a game.
The Tigers’ defense also ranked 39th in both quarterback sacks (2.33 per game) and first downs allowed (250). Memphis defenders registered 28 quarterback sacks and 78 tackles for loss during the year.
Linebackers accounted for 20.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 quarterback sacks.
In 2012, Scott’s first season with Fuente at Memphis, the Tigers posted a 4-8 overall record, the team’s best finish since 2008. The Tigers were 4-4 in Conference.
Memphis led the league in total defense in conference games played in 2012, giving up just 331.6 yards per game. The Tigers lowered their total yardage allowed in conference games from the previous season by 30 percent.
For the year, Memphis ranked 50th nationally in defense (383.58 yards per game). Memphis’ 138-yard rushing defense total for the year ranked 32nd nationally.
Scott’s linebacker corps accounted for 6.5 of the team’s 29 quarterback sacks. The Tigers more than doubled their quarterback sack numbers from the previous season. Linebackers also accounted for 19.5 tackles for lost yardage and intercepted a pair of passes.
In 2012, Harris and Brown ranked first and second on the squad in total tackles (79 and 71 stops respectively). Jakes, then a first-year player, was named the John Bramlett Defensive Player of the Year.
Scott joined the Memphis staff ahead of the 2010 season and was elevated to co-defensive coordinator in September of 2011 while continuing to guide the linebackers. Under his tutelage, linebacker Terrence Thomas flourished in his senior season and led the 2011 Tigers defense with 106 tackles, including 72 solo stops. In addition, Akeem Davis, who worked at linebacker in nickel, was the squad's second-leading tackler with 78 hits. Davis also led the squad in interceptions (3) and tied for the team lead in fumble recoveries (4) and forced fumbles (3).
Scott guided one of the most-successful linebackers in school history in 2010 when Jamon Hughes ranked third nationally with 147 tackles. Hughes was an All-Conference USA first team pick and was named the team's MVP and Defensive Player of the Year. His 147 tackles were the fourth-most for a season, and his 21 stops against Southern Miss were the second-most for a game in school history.
Scott joined the Tigers after two seasons at Tulsa (2008-09), where he worked with the cornerbacks in 2009. Under Scott's guidance, James Lockett was a two-time All-C-USA honoree.
In the 2008 season, Scott worked with outside linebackers and safeties. The 2008 Golden Hurricane squad finished the season with an 11-3 record and a 45-13 win over Ball State in the GMAC Bowl. Under Scott's direction, Lockett was named to the 2008 All-C-USA second team, and Kenny Sims was an All-C-USA honorable mention pick.
Prior to joining the Golden Hurricane staff, Scott served seven years at his alma mater, Illinois State (2001-07) and took on the role of defensive coordinator his last two seasons. In his first season as defensive coordinator in 2006, Scott directed a Redbirds defense that was the Gateway Conference's No. 3 total defense and No. 2 scoring defense, allowing 19.7 points per game. In 2005, Scott was named the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division I-AA Assistant Coach of the Year.
A native of Orlando, Fla., Scott is one of the most-decorated players to ever wear an Illinois State uniform. Until 2004, Scott owned the career tackles record, but his protégé, Boomer Grigsby, claimed the mark under his guidance. Scott helped mold Grigsby into an unprecedented three-time Gateway Football Conference Defensive Player of the Year performer and a consensus All-American.
With the graduation of Grigsby after the 2004 campaign, Scott continued his trend of producing great players with Cameron Siskowic, who won the 2006 Gateway Defensive Player of the Year Award. A two-time Buck Buchanan Award finalist, Siskowic led the league in tackles in 2005 and 2006, giving the Redbirds and Scott the Gateway Conference leader in stops for five-straight seasons (2002-06).
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 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.