Former three-time PIAA state champion and Waynesburg high school graduate Coleman Scott has made the US Olympic Wrestling team as a freestyle wrestler. Scott, an NCAA Champion in 2008, was the final man to make the Olympic squad after defeating top ranked Shawn Bunch and Reece Humphrey in a wrestle off. Scott has been a member of the US National team since 2009. He was a four time All American at Oklahoma State and one of two Western Pennsylvanians to make the 2012 Olympic team. The other is North Allegheny graduate Jake Herbert.
Scott had a career record of 156-12 at Waynesburg High School. He made it to the state semifinals his freshman year in 2001, then won PIAA titles in 2002, 2003, and 2004. In college at Oklahoma State he built a strong resume leading up to his NCAA championship in 2008. As a freshmen he finished eighth and as a sophomore he moved up to fifth nationally. Then his junior year, he was second before eventually becoming NCAA Champion in 2008.
Among Scott's accomplishments; he was the 2012 Dave Shultz Memorial International Champion. In 2009 he was crowned the Hargobind International Champion. In 2005 he participated in the FILA Junior National Championships but injury forced him to default and then in 2006 he won the Junior National Championships which gave him a berth in the FILA Junior World team trials but again had to default due to injuries. Of his many tournament wins he won the 2005 Kaufman Brand Open season opening tournament, as a Sophomore and the Fort Hill State Open as a Freshman in 2004.
Coleman's mother Mary is originally from the Norfolk, Virginia area and MSA was able to reach her and ask about her son's accomplishments. "Were all so proud of him, he's been working at this since he was 10 years old." His making the Olympics hasn't really hit her yet either. "I've always known he was good through high school and college, even when he told me he was trying out for the Olympics I wasn't sure, It might not sink in until I see him walking in with the team in London." Scott is married to wife Jessica and they have a daughter Leighton. "I'm very proud of him as a husband and father as well, family and church make a big difference in his life."
Scott who currently lives in Stillwater Oklahoma was kind enough to take time from his twice daily training routine to answer a few questions in an exclusive interview with MSA Sports.
MSA: Coleman tells us about your reaction to making the Olympic team
Scott: I've been working at this since I was 10 years old, its one of the goals I set as a kid and I had a sense of relief when I made it.
MSA: You had 2 win 4 matches in one day and you had to fight off a rib injury as well, how were you able to do that?
Scott: It happened during warm ups. At first I kept saying why me why now then I became focused, I calmed down and the injury made me more self aware and I was able to put it out of my mind and get the job done.
MSA: So you knew at 10 years old you wanted to be an Olympic wrestler. A lot of kids dream big, but what made you believe.
Scott: I watched the 96 Atlanta Olympics when I was 10. I was already wrestling since 6 years old and I loved it and said to myself this is something I want to pursue.
MSA: Talk to us about your influences in your life and what they mean to you.
Scott: Obviously my parents, they drove me tournaments all over the state, and country when I was a kid. Joe Throckmorton my little league wrestling coach, Ron Headly my junior high coach along with my high school coach John Yates all helped me tremendously. My father my uncle and especially my grandfather really inspired me to wrestle. They were all wrestlers and I followed them.
MSA: Talk about your high school years your record at Waynesburg was outstanding.
Scott: I didn't win a state title in my Freshman year. I'm not trying to be cocky but I knew winning 4 state titles was something big to accomplish in Pennsylvania. I froze up that year. That motivated me from that time and made it special when I won the next three years.
MSA: You picked Oklahoma State to continue your education and college career. Why did you pick them?
Scott: John Smith the coach there and the coaching staff made me feel at home when I went there on a recruiting trip. Once I stepped on campus I knew that's where I wanted to be.
MSA: You had a fine college career ending it with an NCAA title in 2008. Tell about you college experience.
Scott: I won the title at 133 lbs. It was my last match of my college career and once I won it I was able to check another goal off my list.
MSA: You had a big crowd of supporters to see you make the Olympic team, what did that mean to you?
Scott: It was awesome, I think there were 50 people there and my sponsor Cradel Gear made T shirts for everyone to wear. It was a great experience. I think we have 72 coming to London so far and Cradel is going to make shirts for everyone. I'm so grateful to them.
MSA: Tell us about your work ethic, what drives you to be the best?
Scott: It was drilled into me at a young age, by coaches and by family.
MSA: ALL the accolades you have had in your career, you still had the Olympics in the back of your mind.
Scott: I'll treat this as if its my last matches, but Ill definitely try again in 4 years to go to the Olympics again.
MSA: If you were talking to a group of young athletes, based on what you have been thru, what advice would you give ?
Scott: Dream big, live right, keep chasing your dreams.
MSA: You obviously love wrestling, what is the best thing about it for you?
Scott: The discipline, attitude and work ethic all carries over into the real world. The hard work all carries over in to a way of life.
MSA: Wrestling is a tough sport, what is the hardest aspect of it.
Scott: The day in and day out training, the discipline to eat right, live right and take care of your body can be tough at times.
MSA: Tell us about your family. Besides wrestling you have a wife and daughter to think about now.
Scott: I work as hard as I do for my wife Jessica and daughter Leighton. My motivation comes from wanting to take care of them. We have had to make sacrifices, and have had some lean times. But its all worth it because I'm working to make a better life for all of us.
MSA: Besides wrestling this year and trying to make a go of it in four years as well, what do you see yourself doing in the future ?
Scott: I'd like to stay involved in wrestling. To be a coach at the college level. I've dedicated my life to this and I want to continue this as a career.
MSA: Coleman, good luck in London!
Scott: Thank you.