TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Dorian Scott is bracing for a busy week at Historic Hayward Field, where six of the Florida State athletes he mentors as the Seminoles’ fifth-year throws coach are competing at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
Scott’s throwers have been the driving force behind the Seminoles all season and Sunday, the two-time Olympian and All-American and ACC champion thrower as an FSU undergrad was recognized by his peers as the USTFCCCA’s South Region Women’s Assistant Coach of the Year.
“This is a well-deserved honor for Dorian,” Florida State head coach Bob Braman said. “He’s done an amazing job with our throwers. He will be an outstanding candidate for National Assistant Coach of the Year, especially if his throwers continue their excellence at Nationals this week.”
Given the season-long trajectory Scott’s throwers have followed, it’s hard to imagine anything less than continued success at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. On the women’s side alone, four of five NCAA East Preliminary qualifiers advanced to the finals site, with graduate student Kellion Knibb leading a trio of discus throwers, who are joined by hammer thrower Veronika Kanuchova.
As Scott’s first signee, Knibb has a special bond with her coach. Under his direction she represented Jamaican at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, set her country’s national record, claimed a pair of All-American honors and is the first woman to win four ACC discus titles.
“Dorian is the most hard working man I know,” Knibb said. “He loves what he does and it shows in his work. No one deserves the award more than he does, in my eyes.
“His passion for the sport and his job makes him special. He is the type of man to take his work with him wherever he goes. On top of that, he is not afraid to ask questions where he sees necessary. He is always open to suggestions and to learning. Because of that, I think he will only get better.”
“Kellion Knibb is an irreplaceable warrior, but we’re sure going to look hard to find another.”
Braman won’t have to look far to find some of those future scorers. Knibb and heptathlete Melissa-Maree Farrington are the lone Seminole qualifiers who won’t be back in 2018, but three others competing on the final day will.
During the 2017 outdoor season three of Scott’s athletes – Knibb (discus), Kanuchova (hammer) and Gleneve Grange (shot put) – establish new FSU records in their respective events. While Knibb and Kanuchova claimed ACC titles, Grange was named ACC Women’s Field MVP after posting a pair of silver medal finishes. In all, his women contributed 40 points to the Seminoles’ runner-up team total, which does not take into account his work with NCAA Championship-qualifying and ACC heptathlon champion Melissa-Maree Farrington.
And while Scott was recognized for his work with the FSU women’s team, a pair of Seminole men – Austin Droogsma (shot put) and Emmanuel Onyia (discus) – are the first under his watch to reach the NCAA Outdoor Championships. They have climbed to No. 3 on FSU’s all-time lists in the shot put and discus, respectively.
Knibb doesn’t hedge when asked about the impact Scott has had on her.
“Dorian’s impact on me transcends track and field,” Knibb said. “He has groomed me into the athlete and woman I am. He taught me how to be a student of the sport and encourages me to be the athlete I strive to be. He makes it a habit to speak positive things into me as a student, an athlete and as a woman. He makes it his duty to uplift his athletes, especially the women.”
The 2017 NCAA Outdoor Championships open Wednesday with the Seminoles represented by 16 athletes; nine women and seven men.
You can follow the Noles throughout the competition via Twitter @FSU_Track as well as Seminoles.com, with prev