Retired football coach gets surprise of a lifetime
WHITTIER – Longtime Whittier High School faculty member Walter Scott was summoned into the school auditorium, where an emergency was supposedly in progress.
Little did he know, however, that students and staff were lying in wait to celebrate his more than 30 years of dedication to their high school.
Scott – affectionately known as “Coach Scott” by most Cardinal students – has a long and enduring history at Whittier High.
“I’ve been here a long time… went to school here, graduated in 1973,” said Scott. “I’ve been really fortunate to be in this community all my life.”
After graduating, Scott would later return as head football coach, which occupied his time for 18 years. Now serving as part of the security team, Scott treats his role extremely personally.
“I was always told that school was an extension of the family, and that’s my philosophy,” said Scott. “I’ve had kids here that I knew their great-grandparents…I tell them, ‘my job is to make sure you’re safe, and we’re going to make sure you’re successful.’”
“I feel like every single [student] is extremely important…We’re still helping them learn, and if I can’t reach them, I want somebody else to reach them.”
It was this attitude that drew the attention of the Dude. Be Nice brand.
Brent Camalich, founder of Dude. Be Nice, said that the brand comes alive through “highlighting people that have incredible stories and that are making a positive impact in their communities.”
“When we first started, we were just looking for stories anywhere we could find them,” said Camalich. “Now a lot of stories come to us because of the popularity. Really what it is is finding someone on the ground in the community to be the biggest supporter of what we’re doing, because we need the community to make these things happen.”
In addition to a bounty of cheers, tears, and hugs, Scott was also surprised with memorabilia from his favorite football team, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
Allison Huntley, Assistant Principal of Guidance and Counseling, said that it was “not hard to decide” to put Scott up for the recognition.
“Every kid on campus knows him,” said Huntley. “Every person on staff likes him; he might be the only person that every single student and staff member loves unequivocally.”