The National Christian College Athletic Association recently announced that their Hall of Fame class for 2020 will include BJU Bruins head golf coach, Dr. Dennis Scott.
“Denny has been a Kingdom-building coach and an impact person for decades,” NCCAA President Dan Wood said. “He is an inductee that further confirms our Hall of Fame’s goal of honoring those who serve, promote and honor the Great Commission.”
Scott began the men’s and women’s golf programs at BJU in 2013. Dr. Neal Ring, BJU’s athletic director, was one of Scott’s students at Northland International University in Dunbar, Wisconsin.
“The early formulation of the mission and vision for Bruins athletics began with my interaction with Coach Scott as a professor, mentor, friend,” Ring said. “I am grateful for his input and investment in me over the years at Northland and those that followed. Outside of family, he is one of the most influential mentors in my life.”
Ring said Scott’s motivation and discipleship skills are what make him such an excellent coach. “He has exceptional proficiency in the sport he is coaching,” Ring said. “He challenges his student athletes to make each effort their best—not for self-glory, but for God’s glory. He breaks down barriers by demonstrating genuine love and concern for those he is leading.”
Scott has coached for over 40 years. He first coached high school basketball for 11 years at Heritage Hall Christian School in Muncie, Indiana. He then worked for 22 years at Northland International University. During his time there, he coached men’s basketball, men’s golf and women’s soccer, as well as served as athletic director and director of sports ministries.
Scott said he enjoyed competing as a high school athlete and as a college athlete at Maranatha Baptist University. He is a former NCCAA student-athlete. “I played in regional basketball tournaments with NCCAA, and that was my first exposure to a Christian college athletic association,” Scott said.
Even before his student athletic career was over, Scott said he felt the desire to be a coach. “I read a book in junior high school called They Call Me Coach by John Wooden,” Scott said. “After I read the book, I . . . decided that was kind of a passion [and] a direction that God wanted me to go.”
Scott said during his first year of coaching, God gave him two verses that he claimed as a tone for the rest of his coaching career. “I had, as a young coach, maybe gotten frustrated or a little upset with the way the team was performing in a game and had to reflect on, ‘Was this really how I should behave?’” Scott said.
After being challenged by a mentor, God gave him James 1:19-20: “Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath. For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.” Scott said he was challenged to see God’s righteousness developed in the lives of his student athletes by controlling his own wrath.
He also challenged young coaches or those considering a coaching career to go into the career for the relationships built among players instead of winning streaks. “If you’re in it for your own personal resume or your own winning record, you probably won’t last very long,” Scott said. “It’s not about championships; it’s about relationships.”
Jonathan Du Fault, freshman health sciences major and member of the men’s golf team, said Scott is one of the most selfless people he knows. “He always puts his team first and always does everything to the best of his ability,” Du Fault said.
Elise Snow, sophomore Spanish major and member of the women’s golf team, said Scott’s sincere care for each student as an individual, as well as his advice on focusing her practice time, has greatly influenced her.
“Coach also coordinated through the end of last season the building of our new golf facility with a professional chipping and putting green that allows us to practice anytime and in any weather,” Snow said.
The NCCAA’s national convention will be held in Virginia Beach, Virginia, on May 28, 2020, and will honor the 2020 Hall of Fame class.