After retiring as a player in 2006, Gragg, a mathematics major at the University of Montana, earned his masters degree from George Fox University. He and his family then moved to his hometown of Silverton, Oregon, where he taught math at his high school alma mater and was the head football coach.
Gragg later decided to trade trigonometry for touchdowns, and went to his second alma mater, Montana, where he became the football team’s compliance liaison. He’d eventually become the offensive line coach and then the co-offensive coordinator before becoming the assistant head coach.
“After I finished coaching at the University of Montana, I was a principal in Fort Benton, Montana, which is a tiny school in the middle of the state,” Gragg said. “And in an interest of getting back to family and friends, I applied for an opening at McNary High School (in Keizer, Oregon, which is an hour’s drive south of Portland) as their instructional coach with the thoughts of hopefully being able to move towards administration.”
He got the job and joined the staff at McNary H.S. in 2016.
“Basically (an instructional coach is) a teacher on special assignment,” Gragg explained. “Typically, you work with first- and second-year teachers primarily in a mentorship role, but then you also work within departments. For me, because I’m mathematically-minded, I leaned towards working with our geometry department in increasing academic student success, giving teachers more tools in their tool bag as instructional strategies to help them.
“I was hired as an instructional coach in August and in the middle of October; I was put in a position as an interim assistant principal in charge of discipline and behavior. And then at the end of that year, I applied for the assistant principal and athletic director positions. So, I was hired as an instructional coach and quickly became an athletic director.”
At first glance, it may be difficult to see how Gragg’s experiences in the NFL would help prepare him for his current positions. But he says it did.
“I’ve always enjoyed communication and leadership and I get to be able to do both of those in roles as an athletic director and assistant principal,” Gragg said. “Every experience from playing 11 years to teaching for four and then coaching collegiately for five, all built on where I’m at today dealing with kids in all kinds of different situations.
“What we experience in the NFL in overcoming adversity and the daily challenges and grind certainly help me be a better athletic director. I had the privilege of playing for and working with a lot of great coaches: Dan Reeves, Herm Edwards, Steve Mariucci. Mariucci, one of his foundational core values was communication and the ability to communicate well both on the field and off the field. If there’s a core value that I’ve adopted from my experiences in the NFL, that would be it, the importance of communication and what that looks like in different contexts.”
Gragg and his wife, Toni, are living 18 miles from where they grew up and went to high school together. They have a daughter, Anna, and a son, Brian.
“I have so many blessings it’s hard to establish the best. I have a daughter that’s a junior at Liberty University and tried out for the Olympic team last year for volleyball. I have a son that just graduated from high school. I’ve been married for 23 years, going on 24,” Gragg said.
“I had a great career in the NFL that helped me establish relationships. And I’m in a great job working with a great team in a great community. I consider it a privilege to be Scott Gragg right now. It’s pretty awesome.”