‘Scotty’ shares decades of knowledge

by Martin Schlegel

schlegelma@mnstate.edu

For the last 46 years, Larry Scott has directed the spotlight on Dragon athletes. This year, the spotlight has been on him.

“Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of attention,” Scott said. “It all seems a little unnatural.”

A fountain of knowledge, Scott can reel off any information about Dragon sports. The human sports encyclopedia can recite scores, coaches’ names and past players ranging from 1969 to the present, without hesitation.

What Scott has retained over the many years makes him one of a kind. It’s not just Dragon football history, but the details of what some people would call unimportant — names and sports not pertaining to MSUM.

For Scott, it started with his involvement in the student yearbook. He kept statistics and wrote sports stories. He took on a bigger role in the later years of his education. Working for the athletic department, Scott kept the records and wrote publications.

“I didn’t care how long it took,” Scott said. “I really wanted to do the best job I could.”

Scott had the opportunity to turn the work he was doing into a full-time job when he was accepted as sports information director at the University of Iowa.

The opportunity was prime in Scott’s mind, but he never took the job. Instead, he was drafted by the Selective Service. Four months after being drafted, Scott returned to MSUM for graduate school.

When he came back, the first football game he attended was a tie against Bemidji State. It was the beginning of a long streak of consecutive home and away football games Scott’s gone to.

As the first sports information director at MSUM, Scott was responsible for alerting the media.

“It was my job to spread the gospel,” Scott said.

He spread the word of Dragon Athletics to as many outlets as possible.

Scott has been going to Dragon football games for more than 40 years. This year, Scott pushed the streak past 500 games, but he downplays the accomplishment.

“It’s nothing heroic,” he said. “But it’s meaningful to me and satisfying to know that I’ve been able to do it.”

He credits his longevity to good health and luck.

“I always wanted people to know they could count on me,” Scott said.

After Scott’s retirement from the position he held for 40 years, Athletic Director Doug Peters and the athletic directors before him made arrangements for Scott to stay involved with the football team. He continues to travel with the Dragons as the color-commentator for their televised broadcasts.

Scott stays involved on campus as well.

“Scott helped develop the curriculum for the sports communications minor for MSUM,” C.T. Hanson, chair of the School of Communication and Journalism, said.

Scott was also persuaded to teach sports information and the media. For Scott, it gives him a chance to stay connected with students.

He wrote a book to honor Ross Fortier, the legendary coach of Dragon football.

In 1988, Scott was inducted into the Dragon Hall of Fame. He was also inducted into the College Sports Information Directors of America Hall of Fame in 1991 and the Northern Sun Conference Hall of Fame this year. Scott was a part of the media relations committee in Minneapolis during NCAA Division I basketball’s Final Four.

For Scott, reminiscing about Dragon history comes with ease. He said he loves the past rivalry Dragon football had with the Cobbers.

“We used to bump the Bison off the sports page,” he said. “It was all Dragon-Cobber coverage for about a week.”

He said many people ask how he can remember so many Dragon facts.

“I don’t know why I remember so much,” he said. “There are probably other things I should remember better. For us in sports, everything seems important at the time.”

Known to many as “Scotty,” the man is not defined as the first sports information director at MSUM. He is not defined by his impressive football game streak. He is more than that.

Scott is a Dragon ambassador, and his life has been spent spreading the gospel of Dragon Athletics. Now, news about him is being spread.

“He’s really been a valuable resource for us,” Hanson said. “Who better to learn from than someone who remembers so much and has been doing what he loves for so long?”

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