Fawcett honoured to be a part of this year’s HOF class

Jamie Mountain

Scott Fawcett had a highly successful coaching career that spanned nearly 30 years and included 10 championships at various levels of the game of football.
But the Fort Frances native is quick to point out that football is a team sport and all of his accolades came from a collective effort from each of the teams, and players, he helped coach.
“Team sports has never been about ‘me’, it’s been about ‘we.’ When you don’t worry about who gets the credit and you’re unselfish, a group of people can achieve great things,” said Fawcett, who was inducted into the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame last fall in the “builder” category and gets automatic induction to the Fort Frances Sports Hall of Fame as part of this year’s class.
“I’m really grateful to the [Fort Frances] Hall of Fame committee, led by former Muskie hockey coach Terry Ogden, and it’s especially a great honour because I get to be inducted with my late father’s best friend, Gord McTaggart, who was a manager for the Jaycees Juvenile hockey team,” he added.
“My wife’s uncle, Julian Brunetta, was on that Jaycees team and I’m good friends with Barney Maher’s children and ‘Keno’ [Ken] Christiansen lives a block away from me here. We see him quite a bit and his coaching record is just unmatched.
“It’s a pretty good group,” Fawcett enthused.
Learning the game of football growing up in Fort Frances during the 1970s, Fawcett’s first coaching duties were as the defensive coordinator and defensive back coach for his Alma mater when they won the 1978 and 1979 NorWOSSA football titles.
“I was invited to coach by my former Muskie football head coach, Jack Hedman, and I bumped into him at the Safeway store in the summer of 1978 and he said, ‘Hey, why don’t you come coach?,'” he recalled.
“The bottom line is that group was very talented, probably one of the most mentally tough group of young men I’ve ever been around,” he lauded.
“I didn’t know a lot about football back then, I was just kind of long on volume and short on information but those kids never tapped out. They were extremely tough.”
Taking his leadership skills to Winnipeg, Fawcett served on the coaching squads of the Transcona Bantams, St. Vital Midgets and the Winnipeg Hawkeyes–the 1982 Manitoba Junior football champs.
Then in 1983 and 1984, he helped out as a student assistant with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers scouting and coaching staff and as a spotter during their 1984 Grey Cup run.
Upon attending Eastern Washington University as a graduate assistant in 1984, he helped coach receivers and special teams before being hired by the University of Calgary to serve as their defensive and special teams’ coordinator and linebacker coach.
There, Fawcett was a part of their memorable defeat of Western in the 1985 Vanier Cup national university finals.
Returning home in 1986 to help manage his family’s radio stations, he served on the coaching staffs of both the Fort Frances and Kenora high school football teams–helping lead the Muskies to the 1994 and 1996 NorWOSSA titles and the Broncos to the 1990 and 1991 NWOSSAA regional crowns.
Fawcett’s academic coaching duties also included work with defensive lines and special teams for the 2000 NAIA Upper Midwest Athletic Conference title-winning Mount Senario College in Wisconsin and serving as Head Coach of the Mount Allison University Mounties from 2002-2004
He also was an associate head coach with the University of Windsor from 2007-2009.
Recognized as a special teams and defensive coordinator specialist, his five seasons coaching in the CFL began in 1997 with the Edmonton Eskimos where his special teams were ranked first in the league. Joining the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 1999, his special teams contributed to their Grey Cup victory that season.
After a stint with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2005, Fawcett rounded out his CFL career back in Hamilton in 2011, having helped develop such stand-out players as Jon Ryan and Marcus Thigpen during his CFL coaching career.
In addition to his help in contributing to 10 championships titles throughout four decades, this dedicated builder of sport also published articles and conducted coaching clinics, making his contributions to the sport of football at all levels even that much more impressive.
As he looks back on his career, Fawcett noted that one of his favourite moments actually came back in 1981.
“One of the most memorable football moments for our family occurred in 1981. My parents came to Winnipeg to watch my brother Howard play for the University of Manitoba Bisons and he was voted Player of the Game,” he recalled.
“I was working as the sideline reporter for the telecast and got to interview him live on TV, so that was kind of neat.”
Fawcett also noted that with all the extensive travel and moves during his career, it all wouldn’t have been possible without the steadfast support of his wife, Colleen.
“Over the course of 13 years, we moved eight times and if not for my wife Colleen, there wouldn’t have been any CFL career,” he stressed.
“She said she was all in, so we moved eight times in 13 years. Now do the math on this–Fort Frances to Edmonton, to Hamilton, to Wisconsin, to Montana, to New Brunswick, to Winnipeg, to Windsor, and back home again–all without a GPS,” he chuckled.
“She cooked dinner for hundreds of coaches and players and baked thousands of cookies and muffins for our teams and made every new house into a home.
“She fed a lot of those football players and even professional football players are extremely thankful for a home-cooked meal,” Fawcett added.