The Savannah State University Athletics Department announced Shawn Quinn would stay in his position as head coach of the football team on March 7.
Fans and players came to support the announcement. Quinn is the 26th football coach in the program’s history.
Quinn was originally hired in February 2018 as the defensive coordinator. Quinn did an outstanding job in that role, as the defense finished first in the MEAC in pass defense (138.5 yards per game).
“I wanted to do some air fist bumps with someone. I was excited and I called my daughters and one of them was awake, so she was pretty fired up. It’s been awesome, but we’ve got to go right back to work and this morning we had Blue Dawn with our guys out there early getting after it, so I’m just excited to get back to work and get where we’ve got to go, but we’re going to get there," said Quinn at the press conference.
Not only was he excited but the players are as well. “He just brought so much energy to the practice, to the games, and to everything we did. You know, he’s a great guy and he’s someone who really cares about us and we can feel that. 6 a.m. in the morning, we’re working out. He’s loud, he’s energetic and you know, we feed off that," said Awni Alshafei, a junior center on the team, said in the press conference.
Quinn is a native of Chicago who attended Carson-Newman College as a four-year defensive line starter. There, he was an All-South Atlantic Conference selection who was also a part of four conference championships. He earned his master’s degree from Lincoln Memorial University.
Quinn has had a plethora of experience coaching on the defensive side.
Quinn hopes to put Savannah State back on the map for football. Quinn is using key points from Bill Davis’s playbook to work with the new recruits. The 2019-20 school year will mark the first year SSU will re-enter the SIAC as a Division II school.
As interim coach, Quinn has been trying to win community support for SSU. Off the field, he’s having players visit local schools and hospitals. “If we are going to be a good team, we have to learn how to be unselfish,” Quinn said in an interview. “We want to give and be a serving group. We want to do more things besides lifting weights and practicing.”
Quinn has big plans for the men in the fall. “We want to go from being Floyd Mayweather to George Foreman,” he said. “We want to be physical and it will allow our defense to play better, and more importantly our offense. With our quarterback, offensive line and maximizing our roster, we are going to run will allow us to do that to be successful. Nobody runs this type of system, and whatever we need to do to be successful in that area we are willing.”