It’s not every day that a coach gets to build a program from the ground up.
Josh Scott, a native of London, England, and longtime resident of Knoxville, has just been given that opportunity.
Pellissippi State Community College has hired Scott, a former professional soccer player in England, Finland and the United States and a former NCAA Division 1 soccer coach, as its first-ever head men’s soccer coach. The college announced in November that it is adding competitive athletics starting in fall 2023, after it was accepted into the National Junior College Athletic Association in October.
“When you are building everything from scratch, you can put your own philosophy into action – stamp your own footprint, your own DNA – and that’s exciting,” said Scott, who moved from his native England to the United States in 2006 to play soccer for Hiwassee College, a historic junior college in Madisonville, Tennessee. “I feel like I’ve come full circle because Hiwassee was, at the time, the only two-year college in Tennessee with a men’s soccer team, and now Pellissippi State will be the only community college in Tennessee with a men’s soccer team. I believe in the NJCAA platform and the opportunity that community colleges provide.”
Scott captained his soccer team at Hiwassee College and later at Milligan University, where he earned his degree in Human Performance and Exercise Science while winning conference soccer championships. He has since made his career in soccer – playing professionally, fulfilling director and coaching roles at youth soccer levels and also coaching at all NCAA levels with Emory & Henry College and Longwood University, both in Virginia, Tusculum University and, most recently, East Tennessee State University.
“Pellissippi State is extremely excited to bring in someone with as much experience and passion as Coach Scott will bring to campus,” said Pellissippi State Athletics Director Brock Evans. “He brings a wealth of knowledge from his experiences coaching at East Tennessee State, Tusculum University, Longwood University and other major stops around the country. Coach Scott has played an integral part in the development of the Knoxville soccer community, and I am confident he is the right coach for this role.”
Scott’s vision is to build Pellissippi State’s men’s soccer team into one of the premier junior college programs in the country with the best local talent from East Tennessee and around the state.
“We are surrounded by competitive and successful college soccer programs from all levels, but going to a two-year school can be a good fit for student athletes both academically and financially, especially as they take advantage of Tennessee Promise,” said Scott, who has long lived in Knoxville and considers East Tennessee home. “Pellissippi State will fill a void here in the soccer community.”
Scott has been hard at work building a game schedule for fall 2023 – 75% of Pellissippi State’s opponents will be in the National Junior College Athletic Association while 25% will be four-year schools, he said – and now is recruiting student athletes. Those who are interested in playing soccer for Pellissippi State should fill out the interest form on the College’s Athletics webpage, www.pstcc.edu/athletics, or email Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org, as he will be announcing tryouts and identification sessions soon.
“I see our driving force being Tennessee talent with an international flair mixed in,” Scott said. “We are going to give these student athletes the opportunity to embrace diversity, bringing exciting young lads together from all over. It doesn’t matter where you live or where you went to high school. We welcome all walks of life, and by bringing them together as a team, they become brothers, friends for life.”
Scott also will be serving Pellissippi State as a student success coordinator in the college’s Stay Strong Center, which helps students navigate the many transitions and challenges they may encounter during their college experience. He will specifically serve Pellissippi State’s student athletes, focusing on areas such as academic planning, study skills and cultivating a sense of belonging.
“I can’t wait to get started in playing a role with our student athletes’ development,” he said.