I asked Joe Scott what message he would offer to new Air Force coach Dave Pilipovich. Scott was hesitant at first, but finally relented.
Scott is perfect person to offer advice. When he arrived at Air Force in 2000, the Falcons were one of the worst D-1 basketball programs in the nation, if not the world. As the Falcons headed into the 2003-2004 season, the team had lost 296 of 364 conference games.
Scott and the Falcons buried the past in 2003-2004, winning the Mountain West regular-season title, earning a berth in the NCAA Tournament and starting a four-season era in which Air Force ranked as a regional power.
Now, the Falcons are back near the bottom after losing 52 of 62 conference games.
Here’s what Scott offered as words of encouragement to Pilipovich:
” The only advice I would ever say is, you’ve got to be yourself. What is your plan? You got to have great belief in your plan and execute it every day. It’s about your plan and your vision. It’s about the guys who go and execute it with you every day. That’s what we did when we were down there. That’s the way I played. That’s the way I did it at Air Force.
You’ve got to know who you are. You’ve got to have that vision. You can’t make excuses. You can’t say, ‘Oh, that’s OK’ or ‘That’s not important.’ It’s got to be take no quarter. It’s got to be no excuses. You don’t do that because you’re concentrating on the end result.
I think no matter where you are, you should always be optimistic. I think that what I just said about a plan equals optimism. We have a way. That equals optimism. In a positive mater, you’re always saying, ‘We’re going to do it. We know we’re going to do it.’ I don’t optimism comes from concentrating on the end result. That’s where pessimism occurs, when you’re concentrating on the end result. That’s the way we tried to do it. It takes time, you’ve got to do it your way. That’s tough to do in this day and age, but no matter what it’s still what it’s all about.”
Next: Scott wonders if anybody remembers him in Colorado Springs