Tennessee Tech head men’s basketball coach Steve Payne made the final additions to his coaching staff recently, announcing the promotion of Gus Fraley and hiring of Melvin Scott to round out the coaching roster for 2017-18.
Fraley, who spent the previous four seasons as Tech’s director of basketball operations, will step up into the role of assistant coach for his fifth total year on the Golden Eagle staff.
“Anytime you have a guy who comes in and works hard for you for four years, you want to reward those guys,” Payne said. “The truth is, there is no way to get experience in recruiting unless you do it. I have always felt like he would be fantastic and he has been so far. He will do a great job for our program. Gus is loyal, a hard-worker and a smart guy, and that’s the thing we were looking for. I truly think his future is bright.”
“This opportunity means a lot,” Fraley said. “I am very fortunate to be at Tennessee Tech, in any capacity, much less as an assistant coach. I fell in love with this place when I joined the staff four years ago. I have an outstanding boss in Coach Payne that I trust and love to work for and learn from. From [Director of Athletics] Mark Wilson, all the way down administratively, it’s just a phenomenal place to be. Cookeville is a great town to live in and I can’t really put it into words how thrilled I am to continue my coaching career here.”
A native of Fayetteville, Tenn., Fraley spent the 2012-13 season as the director of player personnel at Ohio Valley Conference rival Tennessee State. Prior to his time at TSU, he spent four seasons as the assistant boy’s basketball coach at Chapel Hill High School in North Carolina.
Fraley joined the CHHS staff while still an undergrad at UNC and was part of a coaching staff at CHHS that turned around a struggling program. He helped the Tigers to a pair of conference titles. In 2011-12 the Tigers posted a 26-2 record and ranked No. 1 in Class AAA in North Carolina during the regular season. In 2010-11, Fraley was part of the program that made an appearance in the state semi-finals.
His duties with Chapel Hill included scouting, strength and conditioning, guard/perimeter player development, and organizational aspects for the program. He was also the junior varsity head coach.
While also in North Carolina, Fraley served as an off-season skill development instructor for college and professional players. He provided fast-paced, on-court NBA style individual workouts and skill sessions to players. Fraley also brings vast camp and clinic teaching experience over the past five years.
Fraley graduated from the University of North Carolina in June 2011 with a degree in communications.
Scott, a co-captain and senior member of the 2004-05 National Champion North Carolina Tar Heel men’s basketball team, joins the Golden Eagle coaching staff as the director of basketball operations after serving as the owner and independent contractor for CAMPS 4 CHAMPS in Durham, N.C.
“We are excited to bring Melvin onto our staff,” Payne explained. “Obviously, any time you bring a guy in who has been a national champion and played at the highest level and been successful, I think that presents a great role model for our guys. The way he carries himself and the way he will represent our program professionally really excites me. I was looking for a guy that just wanted an opportunity to start and coach basketball. Now that he is here and we are ready to embrace him and we look forward to his contributions.”
“I think it was a no brainer just getting my foot in the door for coaching,” Scott said on his decision to join the staff. “From my understanding, there are about 2,000 people that do what we do in this coaching field. That is a very small fraternity and I’m just honored to be a part of it and to get started.
“When I first met Coach Payne, I was really drawn to his energy and the vibe he gives off. I had heard a lot of great things about him and who wouldn’t want to work for a guy like that to get your feet wet and get started? I think this is a great opportunity and I’m excited for this upcoming season.”
Scott developed CAMPS 4 CHAMPS in 2014, facilitating trainings for private clients in basketball skills and fundamentals and conducting training camps for kids ages seven and up on a weekly basis. The business also implemented well-structured basketball training and mentoring for four-hour periods.
While running CAMPS 4 CHAMPS, Scott spent nearly two years (January 2015-September 2016) as an intern for UNC’s men’s basketball team, helping analyzing video to assess specific skills and drills learned by the team during practices.
Prior to his return to UNC, Scott served as the top assistant boy’s basketball coach at Voyager Academy in Durham, N.C. from 2011-2014. Over his final two years, he also worked as a health and physical education teacher, as well as assistant athletic director.
Scott was a four-year letterwinner for the Tar Heels, scoring nearly 873 career points while playing in 129 games with 59 starts as a guard. He finished his junior season tied for 10th all-time in career 3-pointers made with 138 and still ranks sixth all-time in North Carolina history for 3-point attempts.
A member of head coach Roy Williams’ first two UNC squads, Scott was named co-captain with Jackie Manuel and Jawad Williams as a senior during the 2004-05 season. That year, the Tar Heels put together a 33-4 record, including a 13-3 mark to win the ACC regular season title. The senior earned Academic All-ACC honors before helping lead UNC past Illinois for the program’s fourth NCAA Championship.
Following his career as a Tar Heel, Scott played professional basketball oversees for BS Energy Germany (2005-06) and Aris Greece (2006-07).
A standout player at Southern High School in Baltimore, Md., Scott was named the state’s Player of the Year as a junior and earning team MVP honors three times. His number was retired at SHS and he earned First-Team All-Metro honors by the Baltimore Sun. He led his AAU U-19 team to a national title as well.
Scott graduated from the University of North Carolina in May 2005 with a degree in African American studies.
Story Courtesy Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information