Jeff Quinn New Offensive Line Coach for the Fighting Irish Football Team by Tom Colton
When news broke that seasoned football Jack-of-All-Trades Jeff Quinn was to serve as offensive line coach for the Fighting Irish football team beginning this year’s season, no one could be happier than Tom Colton. As an avid football fan for many years now, since high school, Tom Colton welcomed this news with much excitement and enthusiasm. He can’t wait to see what the celebrated former head coach of the University of Buffalo has up his sleeves.
Before Tom Colton gets into a few specifics about Jeff Quinn’s career, he would like to share something he read from an interview of Jeff Quinn after he took the reins as offensive line coach from another legendary football coach, Harry Hiestand (who’s now with the Chicago Bears). The part that struck him was what Quinn said about what he wanted the team to accomplish. He quotes:
“Number one, earn a degree from the University of Notre Dame—it’s the greatest gift you can give yourself. Two, help Notre Dame win by blocking our opponent with a dominating performance. Number three, be the best person you can be and the best offensive line unit in the country.”
What exactly was it from the above quote that struck Tom Colton? It was the first and third priorities: earn a degree and be the best person you can be. Here is a man tasked with the huge responsibility of coaching the team to victories, yet he wants the team to prioritize their education and their personal development. Education, when all is said and done, gives each player something to fall back on when their football career doesn’t pan out as expected.
If there is anyone qualified to fill the shoes of Harry Hiestand, it would be Jeff Quinn. And this sentiment isn’t from Tom Colton alone; a lot of the fans and even the players themselves believe that Quinn is the right man for the job. Here are a few reasons why:
- Coached some of today’s best and highest-profile players in the NFL: Jason Kelce, Khalil Mack, and Joe Staley who are all NFL All-Pro selections no less
- From 1984 to 2017, served various collegiate football teams in a variety of capacities including offensive coordinator, associate head coach, recruiting coordinator, Buffalo head coach, and most recently, offensive analyst, assistant strength and conditioning coach and senior offensive analyst for the Fighting Irish football team
- Was named as a finalist for the Broyles Award in 2009 (an award given to the country’s top assistant coach)
- Catapulted the Cincinnati Bearcats to a 12-0 regular season in 2009, which placed them 3rd in BCS rankings
- Named Student-Athlete of the Year during his time at Elmhurst College where he played both in football and wrestling
- Inducted to Elmhurst Athletic Hall of Fame in 1993
There are two things the reader can take away here, says Tom Colton. First, he knows the game of football from both sides of the pole, as a player and coach. Secondly, he not only has the experience working with football teams in various professional capacities, buthis coaching skills and style also produce players that are up to the professional standards of the NFL.