Longhorn Hall of Honor: Scott Bryant
Nov. 15, 2009
Georgia Latcham, Texas Media Relations
Scott Bryant has had a year many would envy. This past May, Bryant became one of only five Texas Baseball players to have his jersey retired by the UT Athletics Department, and now, he is being inducted into the Longhorn Hall of Honor.
“I know it’s an unbelievable honor,” Bryant said. “I think it will take a little time to realize how big of a deal it really is. It’s hard to put myself among the list of the Hall of Honor inductees. It’s going to take a while to fully sink in.”
Bryant’s disbelief might stem from the fact that he thought his time for the Hall of Honor had passed.
“I had been nominated before and hadn’t gotten in, so when Coach (David) McWilliams called me, I was surprised because I thought I had been on the ballot too long and would have been dropped off,” Bryant said.
The entry into the Hall of Honor should come as no surprise, though. While playing for Texas, Bryant earned the 1989 Dick Howser Award as the NCAA Division I Player of the Year, and he holds UT records for doubles in a season (32), total bases in a season (199) and RBI (112).
In his 1989 season, Bryant hit .386, drove in 112 runs, hit 32 doubles and 18 home runs, and also earned All-America honors. He led the Longhorns to a runner-up finish in the NCAA Men's College World Series. That finish, however, is still a sour note in Bryant’s memories.
"We had worked so hard to get there,” Bryant said. “To come up one game short was very disappointing and is still one of the things that bugs me to this day. We had had a great season, it was a phenomenal team and a phenomenal group of guys, and we started with a goal that season and came up one game short. Coach Gus said being the second best team in the country wasn’t bad, but that’s not how we looked at it."
Of course, Bryant had plenty of good times, too, like when he got to go to the College World Series as a freshman.
“It’s one thing to come to The University of Texas, knowing the history and knowing that they have been a fixture in the World Series for some time, but actually winning the regional and knowing you’re going is a great feeling,” Bryant said.
In addition to having good experiences, Bryant also learned quite a bit from Texas baseball.
“Playing at the University of Texas is difficult,” Bryant said. (The best lesson I learned was) perseverance. There are a lot of people who are as good as you, so you’ve got to work really hard if you want to keep playing. You’ve got to believe in yourself and deal with some difficult times.”
Bryant also picked up a few things from Coach Cliff Gustafson.
"I learned a lot playing under him,” Bryant said. “We won a lot of ball games during my three years there, and that had to do with Coach Gus and how he handled the team. His big deal was play games during practice. I think that we came across a lot of situations playing practice games that translated into a real game. You learned a lot more from that than just doing drills. I have very fond memories of playing for him."
Coach Gus’ education certainly helped No. 25 in his career after Texas. He played baseball for nine years, although he never made it out of the minor leagues. Bryant now works in the real estate business, and has recently moved back to Austin, which Bryant feels, is a great thing.
“I miss being at Texas. The whole atmosphere of playing sports at The University of Texas is better than anywhere else in the country -- the fans, the facilities, the support from the town and the school was great,” Bryant said. “But, being in Austin at The University, the support and the people that you meet and get to be around is the best part of playing here. It helps being back in Austin for both me and my family and getting back into all the things the university has.”
And Bryant’s family feel is also looking forward to being present for the induction ceremonies.
“(My six-year-old son) thinks it’s great,” Bryant said. “He likes that he gets to go to football game for the ceremony. He asks me when we get to go. I don’t think he’s figured out yet what a huge honor it is, but hopefully, one day he will.”