Dec. 31, 2013
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Scott Limbaugh got his first head coaching job when he was 25 at his alma mater, Division III Huntingdon (Ala.) College, before spending five years as an assistant at perennial national power Alabama. Last season, his first year at Vanderbilt, the Commodores won a school-record three tournament championships. When he’s not coaching, he is watching as much college football as possible and relaxing with his wife, Kate, a former point guard at Alabama, and his two young daughters, Malley (named after her grandfather), 2, and Annie, who turns 1 in January.
Commodore Nation: How do you spend your free time?
Scott Limbaugh: Outside of golf, my favorite thing to do is hang out with my wife and my two little girls. We’re kind of wall-to-wall with young girls right now. For a guy who grew up in a house full of boys, with two brothers and my dad is just a big child himself. All I ever grew up with was balls and gloves and bats and clubs. That is my favorite thing to do—go to the playground with my little girls, write with chalk with my oldest girl on our back deck. Whatever they want do is probably my favorite thing to do outside of coaching the team. I try my best to make my family feel like they are the most important thing in my life.
CN: How different is it for you to raise two daughters after growing up in a household full of guys?
Limbaugh: It is certainly awesome. I always wondered how I would handle it. I’m kind of a man’s man. But this is good for me to have daughters and probably softens me up a bit. It’s a real blessing to have two little girls. I truly enjoy being with them. The whole deal has always been are they going to be golfers or basketball players? Kate and I, we don’t even think about that. Whatever they want to do. If they want to play golf great. If they want to be a cheerleader that’s great, too. As a coach, I think you get to see a lot of different sides of things. And you just want whatever makes your children happy, not what makes you happy.
CN: You’ve got a booming, outgoing personality and are very passionate about your job and this program. What contributes to that enthusiasm?
Limbaugh: I’m the middle of three, and they were both really good athletes and played college baseball at a high level. My dad was a little league baseball coach. I played basketball, football, baseball all the way through high school. I played golf, too, but golf wasn’t big then, so I walked on at a junior college (and was a part of two national championship teams at Central Alabama Community College). My dad always had a deal with us—as long as you’re playing sports you don’t have to have a job. But if you decide not to play, then we’re going to go work at Winn-Dixie or some grocery store. We’re going to go to work.
CN: You spent your whole life in Alabama until 15 months ago. What pulled you away?
Limbaugh: I got the opportunity to work with coach (Jay) Seawell at the University of Alabama for five years. I think Coach Seawell and I had such a special thing going there that the mindset for us was I was not going to leave the program for any other reason than to go to a school you could win a national championship. My thoughts about Vanderbilt? Everything was in place. You got a great city, the best academic institution in the Southeastern Conference. I felt like I could come there and give Vanderbilt golf a soul. Everybody here from (athletic director) David Williams, to Chancellor (Nick) Zeppos to everybody involved has done nothing but show me they’re committed to winning at the highest level here. That’s what we want to be about.
CN: Thing someone might not know about you?
Limbaugh: I’m a pretty good Ping-Pong player. We have a Ping-Pong table in our new golf house, and I currently hold the trophy—I’ve been beat a time or two by the guys on the team—but right now I’m holding my own as the king of the Ping-Pong palace at the new Vanderbilt golf house. I take pride in that.