Destrehan football coach Marcus Scott details dealing with race relations, discrimination
On March 25, Marcus Scott was named the new head coach of the Destrehan Wildcats football program.
I first encountered Marcus Scott when he was a good football player as a defensive back for Jesuit High school in the mid 1990’s, graduating in 1995. Scott went on to play at McNeese State.
Before attending Jesuit, Scott went to Karr Middle School.
His coaching career began at Clark in 2000 before he worked at Jesuit for three seasons. Scott moved to Texas and coached at B.F. Terry High in Rosenberg for three years. He then moved back to Louisiana and became an assistant coach under Hank Tierney at West Jefferson in 2007.
When Tierney departed after the 2007 season, Scott got his first head coaching position with the Buccaneers, serving in that capacity through 2013. In 2015, Scott joined the staff of Tim Rebowe at Nicholls State as secondary coach before returning to the high school level as defensive coordinator at Destrehan under Steve Robicheaux in 2016-17.
In 2018, Scott took over as the head coach at John Ehret, posting two excellent seasons. In 2018, Scott guided the Patriots to the Class 5A state semifinals.
As a guest on All Access on 106.1 FM NASH ICON Friday evening, Scott was candid about what has transpired in his life.
In his various experiences as a student-athlete and coach, Scott has been in every situation with diverse backgrounds, which has helped him to understand the backgrounds and thoughts of many. Most of his experiences have been positive.
“Absolutely,” Scott said. “It was a huge adjustment going from Karr to Jesuit, especially from elite people who think about the racial component but whenever you go from a situation where you are at a school and you can actually interact with females and have more of a social life. For a teenager, that’s a big deal. When you go into the environment at Jesuit, where it is more conservative, it’s all males and not a lot of people look like you so it was totally different, culture shock, but I had great experiences at Karr and Jesuit.”
Scott was not immune to perceived racism in while at a high school age.
“I experienced it during that time,” Scott said. “I can think of a couple of situations where I had to actually know how to deal with certain comments that you might get coming from a public school, especially as a 10th-grader, which is a little strange and unique in itself coming to Jesuit at that point. The two situations that stand out were off campus during my high school years with friends, not in school itself.”
At the high school level, young men do have lots of commonality.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to be in several different environments and coach kids from different backgrounds and socio-economic statuses and one thing that I find is that the kids are truly not that different,” Scott said. “Their environment is a little different but whenever you develop the relationships with them and you get to know them, so whether a kid is rich or a kid comes from the inner city, they really are looking for guidance and they really are seeking mentoring to help them go to the next level as a man.”
How does Scott try to deal with teaching his players and three children how to deal with discrimination they may encounter?
“I wish I could just say, ‘hey just do this,’ and we just snap our fingers and make it go away, but the bottom line is there are good and bad no matter what walk of life we encounter,” Scott said. “What we have to do is learn the basics. Treat people with respect, work hard as you can, have manners and try your best to be your best. A lot of times, by your attitude, you can navigate through some stuff. Will there be tough times, will there be you are treated unfairly? Absolutely. That’s just the cross that we have to bear at times. I wish it was easy. Things are changing and that is good.”
Scott feels life an society at-large can take a large cue from sports.
“The best example I can use is that of a team because the first thing is that’s the great thing about athletics is because athletics is about a bond, it’s about performance,” Scott said. “A lot of times, nobody cares who scores a touchdown, who scored the winning basket. Sunday’s are the time when our society is the most integrated ever. That’s over a football game or some kind of athletic contest. That perspective, as well as what athletic teaches us in terms of teamwork.
“If you were on a team and you had one of your teammates not being a good teammate, he had a poor attitude and poor work ethic, as a teammate, you would call that person out and try to correct that behavior. What we are seeing is behavior by officers and it just doesn’t seem like enough people within that community call the behavior out and I know there’s more good cops than bad just like there’s more good teachers than bad teachers. I just think the frustration comes in when we see these things on video and the process just takes so long to get justice served.”
Scott feels equality and justice can occur but patience is necessary.
“It’s going to take time and as long as we, just like any team, can weather the storm and hang in there together with the proper attitude and work ethic, we can overcome it and we can find success,” Scott said. “That’s what we all need to be focused on is some solutions, instead of just brushing it to the side and saying, ‘hey, that was terrible.’ That starts with dialogue and let’s try to get some fences mended because there’s a lot of people in pain and a lot of people are really hurt by this. It’s not one isolated event. It’s a series of events.
The sobering reality is the plight which a substantive number of young African-American men face.
“It affects my players and my own two sons and I have to have these conversations about what do you do at a traffic stop,” Scott said. “What do you do when approached? Don’t make a sudden movement. My sons are not allowed to have cell phone cases that are black. They are not allowed to have black wallets because I don’t want them taking it out and somebody mistake it for a weapon. Next thing you know, my kid is in that situation.”
As hard as it is to address, the reality of the situation makes it essential to explain why this is necessary.
“I have to have these conversations and they’re very tough because they don’t get it,” Scott said. “My parents went through it Jim Crow. They experienced the Civil Rights movement and all. My kids have no idea. All of their friends are from all different backgrounds. They could care less about color or race but I have to have that conversation with them and it is awkward.”
The simple solution is right in front of us.
“We need to all get to that place of caring less about color,” Scott said.
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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…