Marcus Scott fondly remembers Friday nights during his first tenure at Destrehan.
“The first thing that comes to mind is that student section,” said Scott, the Wildcats’ newly hired head football coach who served as defensive coordinator for the 2016 and 2017 seasons. “They’re so enthusiastic. And it’s not just them … the parents, the supporters from all over, it’s a combination that makes it a special atmosphere.”
Scott will get to take it all in from a different perspective this fall, walking the sidelines as head of one of Louisiana’s longtime gridiron powers. He was announced as the St. Charles Parish School Board’s choice last month, selected from an interview pool of nearly 30 applicants for the highly-sought position.
As defensive coordinator under predecessor Stephen Robicheaux, he helped spur Destrehan to a Class 5A state semifinal appearance in 2016. John Ehret took notice, and hired Scott to be its new head football coach in 2018.
In his first year with the Patriots, he led Ehret to the 5A semifinals – and on the way, Ehret felled Scott’s former team, the Patriots besting Destrehan in a classic regular season shootout, 37-35. In that game, Ehret passer Travis Mumphrey connected with Jacoby Windmon for the eventual game winner with 2:03 left.
Robicheaux had high praise for his former assistant following that contest.
“The biggest thing is the guy they hired over there on that sideline,” Robicheaux said of Scott, moments after the game’s final whistle. “That’s a completely different team. He’s got them playing hard and got them playing disciplined. They made a hellava hire. And this was a great high school football matchup and it delivered.”
Ehret went 20-5 over Scott’s two years as head coach.
Now, he’s excited for a new challenge, though he noted it wasn’t easy to leave Ehret, where he quickly established strong relationships within his locker room and the community.
“It’s always tough when you’re faced with leaving somewhere so supportive of you, from the kids and parents alike … I had some great relationships, and it’s tough to say goodbye,” Scott said. “But in terms of what Destrehan and St. Charles Parish have to offer my family and I, it’s a no brainer. We live here, my children go to school here … it’s such a great fit.”
While the coronavirus pandemic has put numerous things on hold, the Destrehan coaching search stayed on schedule.
“It was smooth,” Scott said. “They had a plan and a timeline in place for what they wanted to have accomplished.”
Scott follows in the footsteps of a legend. After overseeing one final signing day class among his players, Robicheaux retired in February after leading Destrehan to a state runner-up finish in 2019. Robicheaux was the architect of two undefeated state championship runs, in 2007 and 2008, several unbeaten regular seasons and an overall won-loss record of 186-41.
Scott called it an honor to be chosen to lead a program that has enjoyed a rich coaching tradition.
“I’m extremely humbled and excited,” Scott said. “Just thinking about so many great coaches who have preceded me here. I was fortunate enough to work for two of those guys in Coach Robicheaux and Coach (Tim) Rebowe (at Nicholls State). It’s truly a privilege.”
An Algiers native, Scott’s tenure at Ehret was his second head coaching position on the West Bank of New Orleans, his first coming at West Jefferson from 2008 to 2013 where the Buccaneers won two district championships and qualified for the state playoffs six times.
The move to Destrehan brings him back to his current home. He resides in St. Charles Parish with his wife Jarelle and three children Jackson, 13, Chandler, 9 and Ava, 6.
While he’s coached several members of the Wildcats who were freshmen during his assistant coaching tenure at DHS, he said he’s taking it as effectively starting over with everyone – people change, and he won’t take those relationships for granted.
“We don’t have that true connection just yet. I’ll be walking through that process of introducing myself to them all over again. My job is to establish those relationships,” he said.
As a coach with a strong defensive background, he believes the success his teams have enjoyed on that side of the ball come down to old school, tried and true fundamentals.
“The effort has to be all the way up. We have to be great tacklers, and we have to take the ball away and provide extra opportunities for our offense. It’s all about technique, execution and tackling … it’s the same at every level,” Scott said.
But he spoke of off the field success at an even greater standard.
“To produce upstanding members of community, first and foremost, is the goal,” Scott said.
“Our primary goal of coaches is to help guide young men through these formative years. In terms of what I bring, I think I’m young enough to understand kids … I listen to their some of their music, stuff like that, and I can identify with kids … but I also have old school morals and values. I believe in the same core values that have been established throughout the years at Destrehan. Those won’t change.”