Cal South Honors Brian Quinn with Excellence in Coaching Award
San Diego notable Brian Quinn has received the honor of Cal South’s Excellence in Coaching Award. Quinn’s successful playing career for the San Diego Sockers and the U.S. National team has been heavily recognized by the soccer as well as his coaching career for the indoor team and current tenure as assistant coach for the University of San Diego.
Soccer News: Among those honored as the best of the best, San Diego Soccer Club’s charismatic Director of Coaching Brian Quinn was presented with the Excellence in Coaching Award at the 2016 Cal South Hall of Fame Luncheon and Awards Ceremony in Long Beach, California on February 13th. Quinn’s award, presented by Cal South’s Director of Coaching and Player Development, Steve Hoffman, was awarded to coaches in Cal South who have shown outstanding commitment to soccer.
Long-time board member and President of San Diego Soccer Club, Sandy Buccat was not surprised that Cal South chose to honor Brian. “Brian Quinn has been instrumental to the development of youth soccer in San Diego and a key contributor to the growth and evolution of San Diego Soccer Club (SDSC) and its predecessor organizations. He has been central to developing and implementing the overall vision of high-quality, community-based soccer at SDSC and has also impacted the lives of countless children over the past three decades,” Buccat shared.
Growing up Belfast, Ireland, Brian’s first taste of soccer came from the streets.
“I played outside my front door. We used fences as goals when we had enough kids to play. Age did not matter. If you showed up, you played,” Quinn recalled.
In his early years his love for the game grew through the mentorship of Pat MacManus, Brian Muckian, and Brian Halliday to name a few. It was Halliday who provided Brian with professional tryout opportunities in England when he was only 17 years old. Originally planning to become a teacher, Quinn realized at 18 he had a serious shot at a professional career in soccer instead.
Following four years of playing overseas for Larne F.C. as well as Everton F.C., Quinn moved to the United States to play for the Los Angeles Aztecs in the North American Soccer League. In 1983 he joined the San Diego Sockers where he helped lead the team to six championships in seven years. Quinn also played in the Canadian Soccer League for the Hamilton Steelers for one season during 1987.
After becoming a U.S. Citizen, Quinn joined the U.S. National Team where he earned 48 caps throughout his tenure. He made his international debut during a friendly match against the Republic of Ireland in Massachusetts and was recently nominated to U.S. Soccer’s National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2012.
After Brian’s professional playing career, he parlayed his love of the game with his desire to become a teacher into a stellar career as a coach. Quinn began his professional coaching career at the San Diego Sockers and eventually was selected to coach the San Jose Clash in the MLS where he coached the club for three seasons. At the time, Quinn was the youngest coach in MLS history. Following his tenure with the San Jose Clash, Quinn returned to the San Diego Sockers where he coached until the team ceased operations in 2004.
He also spent time coaching his own children. “I coached at Poway Vaqueros when coaches were not paid. It was enjoyable as my kids played there. I also met great friends and coaches such as Jean Willrich and Brian Rudge as well as Jim Jennings,” Brian recalled. After leaving the Vaqueros, Quinn helped out with teams at Rancho Bernardo, Pegasus, and F.C. San Diego to name a few. In 2005 Brian was asked to serve as Director of Coaching for Poway Youth Soccer Club. Currently Brian is a Director of Coaching for San Diego Soccer Club, the Varsity Head Coach for Girl’s at The Bishops School in La Jolla. Quinn was also named Assistant Head Coach for the University of San Diego Men’s Soccer in 2008 and is currently in his 9th season with the program.
Even with the immense amount of success and recognition Brian has enjoyed in his long career he remains humble. When Brian learned of the Excellence in Coaching Award he felt both honored and surprised. “I believe the award I received was based on the ability to improve teams and clubs over a period of time. I always feel that the kids make themselves good players. My role is to provide the environment to make that happen,” Quinn shared.
He went on to add, “This award is special because it gives me the opportunity to thank Brian Rudge and Brian Halliday who helped me get involved in youth soccer and provided me with great insights into the game. I also have always enjoyed the Coaching Education system set up by U.S. Soccer and think fondly back to some of my instructors — the late, great Glenn Myernick, Lothar Osiander, Bob Gansler, Ralph Perez, Jay Hoffman, Rene Miramontes, and Bobby Howe – all who increased my knowledge and love for the game.”
When asked what advice he would give to young coaches Quinn had this to say, “Young coaches need to remember that it is not about them, it is about the kids. We are continuing to make great strides on the coaching side of the game but all of the coaches need to get better, myself included.”
Source: San Diego Soccer Club, Main Image Photo Credit: Sean M. Haffey/San Diego Union Tribune