The hosts finished an impressive RBS 6 Nations campaign with a bonus-point victory to give Cotter the perfect send-off in the last match of his three-year reign.
Finn Russell, Matt Scott, Tim Visser and Tommy Seymour ensured Scotland bounced back from their thrashing by England last time out.
MATCH REPORT: Scotland 29-0 ItalyNew Zealander Cotter received a huge ovation from the Murrayfield crowd as he took to the pitch after the game.
“I’d like to thank the players and everybody for the last three years, it’s been fantastic,” the head coach said in a quivering voice before embracing his players and staff.
Scotland captain John Barclay paid tribute to Cotter, saying on BBC One: “He’s had a fantastic contribution to Scottish rugby, he’s built a fantastic culture in the team, he’s a great man.”
On the Dark Blues’ display against Italy, Barclay added: “We wanted to finish on a high, especially after last week. We really wanted to give the coaching team a good send-off.
“You have a quick turnaround, you’ve got to dust yourself off. Last week wasn’t really what we represent, we’re happy with today. It’s been a reasonable Six Nations.”