Thomas L. Scott established lasting standards of success and sportsmanship. He coached four sports and also served as athletic director during the first 11 years after ODU was founded as the Norfolk Division of The College of William and Mary,.
Tommy Scott fielded winning teams in football, basketball, baseball, and track from 1930 to 1941 when he retired to a business career. He also taught trigonometry, algebra, and other courses.
Playing on borrowed courts and competing on fields they built under Scott's guidance, Division athletes earned increasing success against a wide array of opponents. Many high schools appeared on early schedules but the competition became tougher as the years went by and the Division played college frosh and other two-year and four-year colleges.
Scott's 1932 grid squad earned a 9-1 record and the distinction of playing in a post-season game that was billed the following year as the Orange Bowl. Twelve thousand fans saw the University of Miami beat the visiting Braves by a 6-2 score.
The won-lost slate during the Braves' first six years shows the football team with a 44-12-2 record, basketball with 95-26, and baseball with 58-22.
The individual athletic brilliance of Scott had been well established at Maury High in Norfolk and at Virginia Military Institute long before he took on the challenging task of coaching teams in four sports for a new college without gyms, playing fields or any other athletic facilities.
His exploits in football, basketball, baseball, and track placed him in Maury's Sports Hall of Fame when he graduated in 1926.
Scott became a charter member of VMI's Sports Hall of Fame in 1972 as an outstanding left end. An honorable mention All-American in football even though he weighed only 165 pounds. He also lettered in basketball and baseball in Southern Conference competition.
Tommy Scott's remarkable influence in the formative years of ODU's athletic program is reflected even today in an endowed athletic scholarship and an annual award bearing his name. He died in July 1962.