To many sports aficionados, what matters most with head coaches is the job they do between the lines, and the compiled win-loss record over a given season.
It happens a lot in athletics, no matter the level of competition. If a particular team doesn’t live up to expectations, the coach is usually shown the door regardless of what has been accomplished in previous years.
This is true even in the college ranks, where the tutelage of student athletes, on and off the field, is vital. Former Temple star golfer and current coach Brian Quinn takes that task seriously.
“That’s in my DNA, that’s just how I am,” Quinn said. “I love these kids. I treat them like they’re my own. You get so close to these kids, you’re driving in vans with them for long periods of time and they make a major impact on your life, so you want to make sure that when they leave, [they] are first and foremost the best human being possible and also a great student athlete.”
His golfers attest to that sentiment.
“There’s not much to say besides he’s an unbelievable man and an unbelievable coach,” sophomore Brandon Matthews said. “He’s there for me with whatever I need. He’d take his shirt off his back for me. He’s done such a great job with not only me, but basically everybody that has come through our program and it’s absolutely unbelievable with the things that he’s done.”
“We’re like his kids,” junior Matt Teesdale said. “He’ll do anything. He’ll bend over backwards and give his shirt off his back for us. You really can’t explain how much he’ll do for the kids on the team.”
A four-year letter winner at Temple from 1987 to 1990, Quinn went on to play professional golf for 16 years, winning a total of 17 professional tournaments.
“My time at Temple was great,” Quinn said. “We had a great coach, John McDonald. We had a great program and quite honestly, I feel like a lot of what [McDonald] had done for us, I’ve tried to do for these kids. We always had the best of everything. He would always try to give us the best opportunity to play in tournaments and try to have the best facilities to play and practice at.”
Quinn returned to North Broad Street to become the golf coach in 2007.
Quinn’s professional experience on the Asian, South African and South American PGA Tours has made Temple an attractive destination for golfers looking to take their talents beyond high school.
“He knows what it’s like out there,” Matthews said. “He knows what it’s like to hang out there and to [play golf] for a living. You can’t replace his knowledge, and you can’t duplicate it. He has so much knowledge of the game, being there and going through that. It’s priceless.”
“He really changed my game from the swing aspect and the course management,” Teesdale said. “Before I came to Temple, I wouldn’t play as smart. He got me playing a lot smarter, thinking about my shots more and really focusing on what shot needs to be hit at a certain time. He does a really good job with the team and obviously he has some players out there that are making noise in the golf world.”
Coming out of high school, Quinn originally wasn’t planning to attend Temple, but his last-second decision wound up paying major dividends for his collegiate and professional career, as well as his life off the course.
“My brother had gone to Temple and played on the golf team,” Quinn said. “I was either supposed to go to University of Maryland or North Carolina, and at the last second the coach called me and said ‘Hey, can you come down and take a look at the school?’ and when I got down there, I just really liked the coach. He was a great guy, very personable, plus my brother played on the team, and I was like ‘what a great fit that would be.’
“I met my wife at Temple,” Quinn added. “It’s a great school. I’m very proud of being at Temple and coaching at Temple, and the strides the university has made over the last 20 to 25 years are just unbelievable.”
Having spent many years around Temple, Quinn praised the transformation of the university.
“I think Temple has done an amazing job as a university, making this as safe an environment as possible for the students,” Quinn said. “The Tech Center, all the athletics stuff that they have built here, all the dorms they have built. They’ve done an amazing job, and I think they should be very proud of what they’ve done.”
Quinn’s résumé on the course as a player and coach is impressive, but it’s his work behind the scenes that puts the Temple golf team in a great position.
Chase Senior can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Chase_Senior.