A product of Springville High School, Scott Mitchell became a record-setting quarterback for the University of Utah and went on to a successful NFL career, primarily with the Detroit Lions. Scott played three sports in high school and excelled as a pitcher and first baseman for Springville’s baseball team, but his talented left arm would lead him away from the diamond, to football’s highest level.
At Utah, he thrived in an offense that showcased his ability, resulting in 8,981 passing yards and 69 touchdowns in three seasons. He will always be remembered for leading the Utes to a legendary 57-28 victory over rival Brigham Young, ending Utah’s nine-game loss streak in the series.
Scott left college after his junior year, in an era when only the top prospects made that move. He was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the fourth round and spent three seasons as Dan Marino’s backup, before taking the starting job in 1993 after Marino was injured and becoming the AFC Offensive “Player of the Month.” By taking advantage of that opportunity, Scott became marketable to other NFL teams and signed with Detroit as a free agent.
In 1995, he passed for 4,338 yards and 32 touchdowns, franchise records at the time. He led the Lions to the playoffs in ’95 and ’97, and it would be a long time before the team returned to the postseason. Scott completed his 12-year pro career in stints with the Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals.
In retirement, he eventually returned to his native Utah and coached the Springville Red Devils for four seasons, reaching the 2009 state championship game in Class 4A in his second season. Springville lost to Timpview in the title game, but the program’s turnaround was recognized as Scott was named The Salt Lake Tribune’s “Coach of the Year” for all classifications. “He has just brought in a new mentality for us,” said Jeff Geuck, a senior Red Devil.
The next season, the Red Devils ended Timpview’s four-year reign as champion with a 38-27 upset in the quarterfinals. Scott stepped down after the 2011 season to focus on his software business. Since then, he has experienced fame and success on TV’s “The Biggest Loser.” He auditioned for the show that stages a weight-loss competition after participating in an alumni flag football game as part of Utah’s spring scrimmage festivities. By the spring of 2015, he returned to Rice-Eccles Stadium looking fit and trim and was completing passes all over the field, just like old times. Scott fit the description of “Alive Again,” the title of the book he wrote about his 126-pound weight loss and the self-awareness he gained.
A father of four, Scott and his wife, Wendy, live in Mapleton.