A year ago, she sat in her office packed with student athletes giving academic advice and mental support. Now, in her new office — one found on the sidelines under the lights — she stands as the first female football coach in Edmond, Oklahoma.
However, her story does not begin there. Brooke Scott, a 2003 graduate from Oklahoma Christian Academy, went on to get her Masters in Psychology from Oklahoma State University. As someone who has always wanted to work in a servant role, she hit the ground running.
“I really got interested in the therapy peace,” Scott said. “So, I’ve been a licensed therapist for almost 11 years. I have a private practice here, I worked in community mental health and with Boulevard Academy here in Edmond for awhile and just loved working with secondary students, but didn’t get to do that a lot in my private practice.”
With the addition of her two now school-aged children, Scott wanted to work in a similar schedule. Her alma-mater was the first place in which she reached out.
“I came on board with zero expectations,” Scott said. “I don’t think anybody knew what the role was going to look like and I got here and the role just kind of fit, like divine puzzle pieces. The timing was perfect for all of us.”
For four days a week she works as a counselor at OCA, handling the needs of any student that walks through her door. Her presence was soon noticed by the athletic director and head football coach, Grey Powell.
“I started meeting with a lot of guys that just happened to be student athletes,” Scott said. “And I came to (Powell) and said ‘a lot of the guys are in my office on a semi-regular basis and I was thinking maybe I’ll show up to practice, or hang out somewhere in the stands,’ and he just really ran with it.”
Powell said, “She just does such a good job of building relationships with the kids and a lot of our athletes were involved with her and her normal capacity of the school. And one day we were just sitting around talking and I was just like ‘hey, why don’t you be a coach?’”
Scott was assigned as a player development coach. According to Powell, it’s a role that is similar to her counseling position as she is able to focus on the non-football parts of football. Whether Scott is helping in academic advisement, player recruitment, ACT prep, or helping players overcome adversity, her focus is continuing the growth of the athlete off the field, but that doesn’t stop her from getting involved in the game.
“It’s funny because she’s starting to pick up some of the Xs and Os stuff,” Powell said. “Every now-and-then you’ll see her grab a kid coming off and say ‘no you were supposed to be right here,’ so it’s a mutual interchange.”
With 11 years in a career dealing with therapy peace, coaching has been a different role for Scott, but it’s one that she appreciates.
“Getting to interact with our students in a way that’s so different than I would have ever had the opportunity to do was really my favorite,” Scott said. “And watching them accomplish things that they didn’t think that they were capable of accomplishing, whether it’s battle back from anxiety or rough family lives or trauma … it’s the best feeling.”
On the sidelines, Scott can be seen interacting with players by conducting handshakes and encouraging them through hardships — a routine that has built a rapport with the players.
“There’s a lot of things that guys will tell her that they wouldn’t come tell me because there’s that macho thing or something,” Powell said. “It’s allowed an avenue of things that we need to fix on the team before it turns into something that could be negative.”
But Scott doesn’t just use her clinical psychological expertise to help the players. Powell said she helps the coaches as well.
“(She) gives us strategies to where it’s not one size fits all because everybody’s different,” Powell said. “I’ve been coaching for 22 years and 22 years ago I never would have even thought you would even need someone to address the needs of the players in that way — but you do — you need that today.”
As the athletic director and football coach, Powell says his goal is to win games, but his purpose is to build better men. Brooke Scott helps make this possible. Her techniques are a new, fresh approach to the problems student-athletes face every day. Expect a line, and a wait outside her office. It’s still packed with student athletes but now it’s just to spend quality time with their coach.