Former Amityville football star Dan Scott dies
Dan Scott, a hulking left tackle, grew up on Benjoe Drive in North Amityville and played football for Amityville Memorial High School. He went to Ohio State University on a football scholarship, played in two Rose Bowls and was drafted by the NFL's Cleveland Browns.
Friday, he died after a long battle with lung cancer. He was 60.
Scott won Newsday's 1969 Hansen Award as the most outstanding football player in Suffolk County.
"He was a bit of a gentle giant and came from a very humble upbringing," said Dan Cutillo, an offensive tackle who played with Scott at Amityville and Ohio State. "Dan was a big guy, enjoyed competing and enjoyed his friends enormously."
Scott joined Amityville's varsity as a sophomore and immediately stood out to the team's senior quarterback, Mick McDonough.
"He was a big guy with a big heart, but on the football field you wouldn't want to meet him," McDonough said. "He turned out to be a superstar as a senior, but as a sophomore, he was just a raw talent who was eager to learn and was respectful of the older guys."
As a senior, Scott drew the interest of many of the nation's top collegiate programs. Lenny Mattera, who coached Amityville's freshman team at the time, recalled legendary OSU coach Woody Hayes' visit to Amityville.
"Can you tell me where [coach] Victor Niemi's office is?" Hayes asked Mattera.
Scott was standing directly behind Mattera.
"I assume you are here to get him," Mattera said, pointing at Scott.
"I am here to get Scott and Cutillo," Hayes replied.
Cutillo and Scott teamed up in Columbus, where their friendship bloomed. They were roommates and, Cutillo said, made sure they each woke up for mandatory team breakfasts.
"If you missed breakfast, your position coach would have you running after practice or you would answer to the old man [Hayes]," Cutillo said.
Cutillo recalled hitchhiking with Scott to nearby Athens and the Indianapolis 500. Their first ride came courtesy of an Ohio state trooper, who drove them to outside the Columbus city limits before telling them, "You're on your own now."
Scott played in the 1973 and 1974 Rose Bowls. He was drafted in the ninth round (224th overall) by the Browns in 1974 but did not pass his physical.
Scott moved to Carson, Calif., with then-wife Pat and worked at Chevron Petroleum for 30 years, where he became director of diversity training.
In the last few months, Scott reached out to the Amityville Football Alumni Association and began exchanging emails with former teammates, many of whom he hadn't seen in more than 40 years.
"Here was a guy who played in the Rose Bowl, and all he wanted to talk about was his high school friends and career," McDonough said.
Scott is survived by a son, Tyler, and a daughter, Cassidy, both of Carson, Calif.; brothers Jesse Little of Lindenhurst and Gerald Little of Norcross, Ga.; sisters Debra Scott of Schenec-tady and Saundra Little of Massapequa; and two grandchildren.
The remains will be cremated. An open house memorial celebration will be held at a later date in Carson.