Scott Wooster leads GV football into next chapter as head coach


GVL / Bethann Long

Anthony Clark Jr., Sports Editor

Grand Valley State University’s football program welcomed their eighth head coach in program history, Scott Wooster, during an introductory press conference this past week.

Wooster served as the offensive line/tight end coach and offensive coordinator for the Lakers over three seasons prior to his promotion to head coach as he stated enthusiasm to continue the success the team has achieved in recent seasons.

“Obviously the biggest part of it was the opportunity to grow, build and serve these guys that were right out here (at this press conference) – it’s just such a special group,” Wooster said. “To be able to be the leader of this group of men, that was the most exciting part going through this week and the most honoring part.”

Both GVSU Director of Athletics Keri Becker and Vice President for Finance and Administration Greg Sanial gave opening remarks about the hiring process as they both addressed the thought of how quick it may seem on the surface, their philosophies for who should be hired and what influenced the final decision.

“What’s important is that we focus on the student-athletes moving forward,” Sanial said. “Coach Wooster was our best choice to position our athletes with success both on and off the field moving forward. What’s (also) important to note is a lot of times when you (a team) have coaching changes, it’s because you need to rebuild – we don’t need to rebuild at all.”

Becker echoed the statements by her colleague while mentioning even though the process was swift, the search committee was not hasty in their decision. Becker mentioned that the university also sought counsel from a search firm to help find strong candidates for the position.

After conducting 14 total interviews, a selection was made.

“I was looking for someone that articulates their vision in three ways: one; their vision of being a CEO of the program – all facets that go into a football program,” Becker said. “Someone who’s a man of character, integrity and would really care about (the) student-athletes beyond the gridiron. I then considered our football program: where was it today?”

Coming off one of the best seasons in program history, Wooster helped to lead the team to winning the GLIAC regular-season title, the 2022 GLIAC Championship (first since 2016) and also was part of an offense that finished top-10 in the nation for scoring (37.9 points per game), total offense (449.8 yards per game) and rushing offense (228.7 yards per game). 

After falling to their conference rival Ferris State in back-to-back national playoffs the last two seasons, Wooster made sure to share his ambitions to be crowned as the national champions in the upcoming campaign.

“When I came to Grand Valley State (in 2020) that path, that trajectory we’re on, that ain’t gonna change,” Wooster said. “We’ve already had some in-depth conversations about what are those moves, what are those edges that are going to get us over the top. That’s why we’re waking up in the morning and will probably have sleepless nights making sure that those things are in place to do what we want to do and what we need to do.

Senior left tackle Jordan Davis spoke for his team when mentioning the players are more than excited to have Wooster at the helm of it all, and also said their new head coach’s energy is second-to-none.

“There’s high hopes, but it’s more so confidence,” Davis said. “The returning staff and players are excited that we got him because that’s who we want as a team. He gives off that energy that everybody wants to be a part of.”

Those that attended the press conference would tend to agree with Davis as a significant number of players showed their support and gratitude towards Wooster by overfilling the first few rows of seats.

In what can be a challenging and exciting time period for a program in search of new leadership, Becker and the search committee knew that finding the correct individual for a head coaching position would raise several points that had to be considered.

“We have a cupboard full of talented student-athletes and talented staff, (so we knew the new coach) must possess a deep sense of commitment, loyalty and dedication and the belief that they can be one of one,” Becker said.

“No one man guarantees success, but he (Wooster) gives us the best chance of success,” Becker said. “He demonstrated characteristics and skills our program needs right now to get us to the national championship game. Most important of all; he’s a teacher, an educator at heart.”

Becker also reflected on the comments made after the initial announcement was made at a team function, responding to the question of how difficult it was for the search committee to make their decision.

“It was hard to just pick one, but it was easy to pick the one,” Becker said.

Wooster’s speech during the press conference consisted of his gratitude towards those that coached him, his opportunity to grow as a coach and mentor and thanking those who currently or previously serve(d) with him. 

However, it mostly emphasized his passion to lead GVSU into its next chapter.

“The pride and tradition of Grand Valley State is unmatched; it is one of one,” Wooster said. “And it is an absolute honor but yet so humbling to be the eighth head football coach of Laker football.”