ATHENS — Scott Cochran made a career out of helping to build football teams, but now he’s applying his dynamic personality and motivational skills on a much grander scale.

Cochran, a 45-year-old, self-professed recovering “drug addict” is president of the recently formed American Addiction Recovery Association (AARA), as chronicled in an Atlanta-Journal Constitution story.

Fans and players at Alabama and Georgia know Cochran well as motivational personality in the locker room, weight room and sideline.

“Coach Yeah,” as Cochran goes by on Twitter, was a celebrated hire at Georgia in 2020, transitioning from strength and conditioning coach to special teams coach in a move Kirby Smart expected to elevate the entire program.

Tua Tagovailoa, the hero of Alabama’s 2018 CFP championship game, said leading up to the 2020 NFL Draft that Cochran “has been the backbone for the organization at Alabama.”

Many others, including Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin and Maryland coach Mike Locksley, who worked on Tide staffs with Cochran, said the same.

But Cochran’s drug addiction caught up with him soon after Smart hired him in February of 2020, though he hoped he could recruit through challenging COVID times that limited contact to zoom calls.

Cochran shared in an exclusive interview with Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Ariel Hart that in April 2020 his wife found him unconscious.

“She found me dead,” said Cochran, whose addiction had elevated from prescription painkillers to higher-strength opiates.

Cochran’s episode led him to a 28-day stint in Massachusetts rehab center during the turnover into a pivotal 2021 Georgia recruiting class that would spark, and then help anchor, the Bulldogs’ 2021 and 2022 national championship seasons and the program’s SEC-record 29-game win streak.

“You can use anything for motivation,” Cochran said in his introductory press conference, when asked if he was motivated that Nick Saban would not afford him the opportunity that Smart was to work as a position coach.

Indeed, Cochran told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in his exclusive interview that, unbeknownst to anyone but his wife, he was making recruiting video calls from the rehabilitation center.

Three-time All-American Brock Bowers and future first round-pick Amarius Mims were among the players Cochran was a primary recruiter on, per 247Sports, along with current starters and former 4-star recruits Dylan Fairchild and Chaz Chambliss.

Most players who suited up for the 2020 and 2021 Georgia football teams engaged with the charismatic Cochran.

“Ask anyone who’s been around him,” Smart said at the time of Cochran’s hired, “Scott’s passion and energy is contagious.”

And now that energy is being turned toward helping the greater good — as well as Cochran, himself, as he continues his path to recovery — working with Georgia politician Kevin Breedlove, as they make contact and raise funds for a cause that strikes home across all levels of society.

Cochran, who resigned from UGA on Feb. 14, told DawgNation on Thursday he’s currently on Capitol Hill with Breedlove for day 3 of meetings with U.S. Congress members.

Per his comments in the more-detailed report, Cochran has pledged the AARA is “going to stand tall instead of crouching down … And we’re going to wear recovery as a badge of honor.”