NORMAN — For three years Scott Myers did like he instructed his players to do. After being diagnosed with cancer, the former Moore High football coach fought the good fight even though odds were stacked against him.
But in the end, it wasn’t enough. Myers, 45, died Wednesday morning in Chandler. He leaves behind his wife, Shelly, two children and many shocked players.
“It’s never good to get news like that,” Joe Haddox said. “Especially when you see somebody fight for so long. And defeat that disease for so long. I heard that he wasn’t doing well. But I don’t think anybody thought it was that close to that point. It definitely sucks.”
Haddox graduated from Moore this past spring and played football under Myers his entire high school career. Even though the Lions had an unimpressive record during Myers’ five-year tenure, the players respect all that he did for them.
“I had an awesome time with him as my coach,” said Haddox, who now plays baseball at Wichita State. “There was never a time on the field he wasn’t trying to make somebody better, trying to make his coaching staff better, trying to make himself better. It was one of his better qualities. He knew people’s potential and he wanted to see everybody reach that potential. It was great having a guy like him throughout high school.”
Corey Reeves was another player who played for Myers for four years at Moore. He said that he and a few other players had planned to travel to Chandler to see their former coach.
“I knew he wasn’t doing well,” said Reeves, who now plays for Central Oklahoma. “A bunch of us players had been planning on going to see him later this week. I wanted to see that man again. Tell him how much I appreciated him. I woke up this morning and it hit me pretty hard.”
Myers left Moore High after last season to take the head coaching job with his alma mater at Chandler High. In his only season with CHS he lead it to a 5-5 record and just shy of making the postseason.
Myers was diagnosed with renal kidney cancer in January 2010 when a tumor was found. He endured difficult treatments such as radiation on his spine and chemotherapy. Despite the constant pain he was in, Myers was on the sideline for every Moore game in 2010 and 2011.
“I remember during my sophomore year, he was out there running plays with us, covering us, running with us,” Reeves said. “When the cancer hit, it put that to a halt. He was one of the toughest and strongest men I’ve ever met in my life. And to see that amount of pain in his eyes was crazy.”
Myers took over as the Lions skipper in 2008. In his first four seasons, his team went 1-31. In his final season at MHS the Lions went 2-8. That included ending a 24-game losing streak.
“There would be days a lot of us would say I don’t feel like practicing today,” Haddox said. “But he has got cancer and he’s at the field every day, more so than we are, 10 to 12 hours a day, working his but off, trying to do things for us. You look at that, it gives you the motivation to want to be better than you are.”
But it was the life lessons Myers taught his players that will stay with them the longest.
“I think I am a better person for having him as a coach,” Haddox said. “I became a better football player. I just think that anybody that comes in contact with him knows that he changes peoples lives.”
Michael KinneyFollow me @firstname.lastname@example.org