Alumni, College of Health Sciences

Alum shares experience as athletic trainer, winning the Natty

By Jenna Johnson | May 22, 2019
Scott Crothers

Scott Crothers ’09, was an athletic training major at Charleston Southern University and worked for CSU. He now works for Clemson University as an assistant athletic trainer for football. Scott (pictured above on the left with fellow alumnus Bryan Hyder at CSU Comes to You) shared his experiences as a student, CSU employee and his current role at Clemson:

What was your favorite experience or memory as a CSU student?

Meeting my wife tops the charts, but I loved every minute of CSU. I met great people, got great mentors; some of my best friends came from CSU. One of my favorite things to see is always the sunrise and sunset over the athletic facilities. But then of course that’s what it is here at Clemson, too.

How did you meet your wife?

I met my wife on the second floor of the library one night in 2006. One of my suitemates was dating one of her roommates, and she came over to talk to her. I invited her to go get a milkshake with all of us at Denny’s and she turned me down. It was midnight of course. She turned me down for about three months before she gave me her phone number. Our first date was the Sadie Hawkins dance, so she likes to brag that she asked me out first even though she turned me down for three months.  

Why did you take an interest in athletic training?

I really wasn’t even thinking about going to college, but my parents had different thoughts about it. I was content in going directly into the workforce, but my Mom found this program by searching my interests, (sports, helping people, etc.) and I knew it was what I wanted to do. CSU has the best athletic training program.  And when I visited CSU, I knew this is where I wanted to learn my craft. 

Are you still involved as an alum?

I serve on the CSU Alumni Association board.

What was your role when your worked at CSU?

To love the Lord and demonstrate it to our student-athletes. I was an Associate Athletic Trainer working under Brad Drake. My responsibilities included assisting with Football, Head Track and Field/Cross Country Athletic Trainer, inventory management, athlete medical insurance administrator and liaison between assistant athletic trainers and head athletic trainer. 

Scott at National Championship

Any similarities with the Clemson program? 

The best is the standard for both programs. Coach Chadwell expected the best out of everyone just as Coach Swinney does. Of course resources are way different, but each program and university wants to make the student-athlete and the employee better at whatever they do or mean to accomplish. 

What are the major differences in working at CSU versus Clemson?

Of course the resources are the biggest difference. There is state funding vs. fundraising. There is a bigger national presence here with athletics but that is through years and years of being established. But they are both about the same thing, growing young people to better adults. 

What about your experiences, academically and professionally, prepared you to be where you are now?

I like to think I worked hard to get here, but it was the people around me that got me here. I didn’t think I was ever going to leave CSU and then this job opened up, and I felt like it is where God wanted me to go. 

Scott and Heather

Anything you miss about CSU or the Charleston area?

I definitely miss my people at CSU. We had really good times and of course always bounced everything off each other. It was a very tight knit family there as we were all understaffed and needed each other to help out with anything we could. If you miss a place it is because of the people that you were with not the location. I would say the same for Clemson, too.   

Where are you from originally? What about your wife? 

I was born in Delaware, and all my family outside of immediate still lives there. I moved to Hartsville, S.C., when I was 5 and have considered that my hometown until adulthood when my career started. A wise person said you are from wherever your license says you live. My wife is from Fayetteville, N.C. 

Any children? 

Yes, we have a 2-year-old son named Cannon and a three-month-old, Norah Leigh.

Share some advice to current students looking for a career in athletic training.

Don’t back down from any challenge. Be in the clinic as much as you can. Volunteer for anything you can to learn how to be an athletic trainer. Working hard is ok, so be ok with it. Study more than you can and work on translating book knowledge to common knowledge and skill ability but also have hobbies. You don’t want to burn yourself out at a young age. Be able to recharge and reset yourself.

Scott with daughter

Okay, how did it feel for the Tigers to win the Natty?

One of my former students sent me a message that night thinking about an old memory. He said, “I remember you saying to me standing on the North Dakota State sideline looking at their natty banners, ‘Man I want to know what that feels like one day’, well now you know.” I can honestly say it was just joyous. All your hard work comes down to one thing and that’s being joyful in the moment. It was incredible winning the natty but not as good as seeing the joy in your student-athletes faces, your student workers’ faces that they accomplished the elite level in their craft. To put it in perspective it is the feeling you get when you finish something you have poured your life into. But we aren’t done yet. 

Do athletic trainers and other staffers get a ring, too? Or is that limited to coaches and players?

We all get rings. I have an ACC championship ring, a Cotton Bowl Playoff champ ring and a national championship ring.

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