Joe Scott (basketball)
July 28, 1965|
Pelican Island, New Jersey
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|Accomplishments and honors|
MWC Coach of the Year (2004)
As a player in the mid-1980s, Scott became schooled in the "Princeton offense," a methodical system that seeks high-percentage shots by passing until the right opportunity rather than a fast-pace offense with more shots. As a result, Scott has frequently instituted a deliberate pace as a coach, often coaching the slowest-paced team in the country.
Scott came to Princeton after getting his first head coaching job at the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA), where he accrued a 51–63 record in four seasons from 2000 to 2004. After guiding the Falcons to a 22–7 record and an NCAA Tournament berth in 2003–04, Scott was named the Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year and was selected as the head coach at Princeton, replacing John Thompson III, who left to coach at Georgetown University, where Thompson's father was the longtime head coach.
Scott had a 38–45 record through three seasons at Princeton. The team finished sixth in the Ivy League in 2004–05, his first season, with a 6–8 record, before rebounding to a 10–4 mark good for second place in the conference in 2005–06. Scott Greenman, a senior point guard, became Scott's first and only First-Team All-Ivy player in 2006.
The Tigers finished with a 2–12 Ivy record in 2006–07, its first-ever last-place finish in the Ivy League. That season, Princeton scored just 21 points in a loss to Monmouth, tying a then Division I record for fewest points scored in a game since the inception of the three-point line. The Tigers also fell to Carnegie Mellon University — a Division III opponent. It was the first such defeat in school history.
Prior to Air Force, Scott was an assistant coach at Princeton under Pete Carril and Bill Carmody. His eight-year tenure (1992–2000) included highlights like the 1996 win over defending champion UCLA in the NCAA Tournament and a no. 7 ranking and another second-round NCAA appearance in 1998. The 1998 team earned a No. 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament, the highest ranking ever for an Ivy League school.
Between his graduation from Princeton in 1987 and his return to the school in 1992 as an assistant coach, Scott earned his law degree at the University of Notre Dame and worked at a New Jersey law firm before spending one season as an assistant coach at Monmouth University in 1991–92.
Head coaching record
Scott's wife, Leah (Spraragen), is a 1992 Princeton graduate and was also a point guard, playing for the Tiger women's basketball team. They have two children, Ben and Jack Scott.
- Hall of Fame: Joseph W. Scott, Toms River Regional Schools. Accessed May 28, 2013. "A Pelican-Island native, Joe was a three-sport (football, basketball, baseball) standout at Toms River High School East."