Thunder welcome new head coach

By Cassidy Thornburg

Jesse Scott was named the new head coach of the Wheaton Thunder football team on Tuesday, Jan. 28. He takes over from Mike Swider, who retired in December.

Scott, who played for the Thunder for four years as a right tackle, graduated from Wheaton with a business economics major in 2009. He then worked in financial services for a year before returning to coach part-time. Since 2010, Scott has transitioned through several other positions on the coaching staff, including working as the recruiting coordinator and offensive line coach.

Last season, as offensive coordinator, Scott led the Thunder offense to a record-high of 611 points in a season. At the beginning of the season, Scott’s wife, Aubrey, gave birth to a daughter, Evie, who had to spend time in the hospital.

“It is so hard to capture in just a couple of sentences,” Scott said, shaking his head as he reflected on the past semester. “The demands of this fall were as challenging as any period in my life, mostly because of my daughter Evie’s stay in the NICU. But, to be surrounded by people who were supportive and encouraging through every step of that process was incredible. Our offensive staff was awesome. They took on so many demands as the season progressed, their contributions in response to my circumstances were remarkable.”

Wheaton Athletics’ Director Julie Davis was impressed by Scott’s interviews and his proven leadership as the offensive coordinator for the past four seasons and ten total seasons coaching for the Thunder.

“Jesse Scott is a talented coach who has a demonstrated passion and commitment to maintaining the core elements of the program — developing young men in their Christian faith and leadership through football,” Davis said. “Coach Scott has a vision for excellence both on and off the field and for building on the extraordinary success created by Coach Swider. I am excited for Coach Scott and the future of the football program under his leadership.”

Senior Defensive Lineman Grant Miller agrees with Davis. “I can only repeat what everyone else has said. Wheaton football is in good hands,” he said. “The passion and love has for Wheaton football is second to none. He’s the first coach I ever talked to from Wheaton and he has shown the utmost care for all of us in my time here. I’m excited to see how he continues to lead the program and form young men into disciples for the Kingdom through the game.”

As Scott puts on a new headset, he is ready to continue the legacy of Wheaton football.

“Going forward, it is an honor to be following Coach Swider as the new leader of this program,” he said. “I’ve had so much respect for what Coach Swider has done for of people who are outside of the program don’t see is how much he was always focused on the mission and vision of the team above all else. I am excited for the opportunity to do the same thing as we strive to move the program forward.”

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