CSN talks with coaches Dennis Thomas and Mark Rhea and four linemen
WCU returns to action with road trip to Georgia Southern, Saturday at 2 pm
WCU is one-week away from its 2013 season opener at MTSU
WCU practices Friday with four sessions slated for next week
WCU to hold 14 additional practices, culminating with Spring Game on April 20
Quinn has led a resurgence in the Catamount defense, mentoring such All-Southern Conference players such as Ace Clark, Tyson Dickson, Sertonuse Harris and Trey Morgan. One of Quinn's linebackers - Daniel Riddle - also appeared on the 2014 Jerry Rice Award Watch List, an honor given to the top freshman player at the NCAA FCS level.
Western Carolina's defense came-up with 11 interceptions in 2014 - the most since taking away the same number in 2010 - and allowed the fewest points to its opponents (320) since 2009. The Catamounts ranked fourth in the SoCon in pass defense and were second in pass defense efficiency.
Prior to coming to Cullowhee, CSU led the Big South Conference in pass defense (145.5 yards per game) in 2012, while also ranking third in scoring defense and total defense (354.4 ypg), creating 15 turnovers on the year including eight interceptions and seven fumbles under Quinn's tutelage.
Quinn additionally has previous coordinator experience from a year working as the co-defensive coordinator and defensive line coach at Northwestern State in Natchitoches, La. He is familiar with the Southern Conference as he spent two seasons on staff in Statesboro, Ga., at former league member, Georgia Southern. With the Eagles, he held the title of linebackers coach while also serving as the recruiting coordinator.
Quinn began his coaching career at the high school level, coaching outside linebackers and tight ends for a year at Armuchee (Ga.) High before spending five years coaching the defensive line at Maryville (Tenn.) High where he helped lead the team to the 1998 Tennessee Class 4-A state championship. He then landed on the staff of former University of Tennessee head coach, Phillip Fulmer, as an offensive graduate assistant, taking part in the Vols' 2001 SEC East Championship.
All told, from 1999-2002, Quinn coached in three bowl games under Fulmer and served as the position coach for Lou Groza Award finalist, placekicker Alex Walls, who earned All-SEC and second team All-America honors from the Sporting News in 2000.
From 2002-07, Quinn coached outside linebackers and the defensive line at Louisiana-Lafayette where six defensive linemen earned All-Sun Belt Conference honors. The Ragin' Cajuns earned a share of the 2005 Sun Belt Conference championship with a total of six players going on to join the NFL. He also worked as a defensive line assistant for LSU during the 2008 season. Five Tiger linemen went on to NFL training camps including Tyson Jackson being selected in the third round of the 2009 NFL Draft.
Overall, seventeen of Quinn's signees at his various collegiate stops have gone on to play in the NFL.
A four-year starter along the defensive line at Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, Tenn., Quinn was an All-South Atlantic Conference (SAC) selection, helping the Eagles claim four conference championships. He graduated with a degree in history and political science in 1995 before earning a Master's degree from Lincoln Memorial University.
Quinn has three daughters - Emily, Grace, and Abigail.