Rodney Scott, Lee High School girls basketball coach, dies

Nick Alvarez Krista Johnson
Montgomery Advertiser

Rodney Scott, the head coach of Robert E. Lee High girls basketball, died on Thursday. 

Montgomery Public School Superintendent Ann Roy Moore confirmed Scott's death Thursday night. MPS released a statement regarding Scott's "sudden" death. 

“Coach Scott will be greatly missed. His commitment to his team and school was felt throughout our school district. Our hearts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time,” Patrick Fenderson, MPS District Athletic Director, said in a press release.

Scott started at Lee as a varsity assistant and a junior varsity coach for the Generals’ boys teams. For the past seven years, he led the girls program. He was an educator who wasn’t afraid to spend his own money on his players. Some players even referred to Scott as "Dad." 

“He genuinely cared about people,” Lee athletics director Tyrone Rogers said. “… There’s nothing you could say about Coach Scott that would get him mad. He was kind of a gentle giant, loved by so many people.”

MPS also announced that counseling services are being provided to students and staff. 

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Scott’s son, Rod, died in 2016 in a car crash on the interstate traveling to watch a basketball game in Birmingham. Scott had committed to playing for Jacksonville State University and helped lead Lee to a Central Regional finals appearance.

Henry Ruggs, a rookie wide receiver with the Las Vegas Raiders, salutes Rod Scott, his best friend in high school, after every touchdown he scores, pointing three fingers into the air and looking to the sky. Rod Scott wore No. 3 in high school.

It's been particularly challenging for Lee High School in recent years with several deaths of students, including athletes. In 2018, former star quarterback Shaquille Johnson was fatally shot in his home. In May, Jamari "Chop" Smith, who had committed to play football for UAB and led Lee to a state basketball title, drowned in an Auburn lake. 

“(Coach Scott) affected so many kids' lives in a positive way," Rogers said. "Just something about him that made people gravitate toward him. … I pray for his family, those who loved him and knew him. … We lost one of our good soldiers.”