Morris Township native Dan Quinn has captured the sporting world with his championship caliber defense and the hearts and minds of his players along the Seattle Seahawks sidelines.
But Quinn's winning combo of hard work and respect is nothing new for those who know him and as his team heads into the Super Bowl this weekend at MetLife Stadium, the hometown hero has vocal group of supporters that include friends, family and even local officials.Quinn grew up the youngest of six children and said his siblings and his parents always supported him. With older brothers Brian, Peter, Mike, Tim and sister Maribeth around, Dan Quinn said there was always a game or something happening in the backyard.
He credits that support with getting him where he is now, and as highly as he speaks of his loved ones, they speak just as highly of him.
"The Quinn family is very proud of the accomplishments of Dan. He has been coaching on the college and pro level for twenty years. He is tireless worker that leads by example," said Tim Quinn, who currently serves as the Morris Township administrator and was the former chief of police.
"Building a rock solid defense has been his forte in all the coaching positions he has held. He truly respects his players and often helps them in many of the transitions they go through on both the college and pro level. Not only is he a coach to these athletes he is a mentor and teacher."
Indeed, Dan Quinn said successful coaches on all levels are also great teachers.
“Coaches are teachers first. The best coaches are not only good motivators and good scheme people, but they know how to connect with players and get them to learn,” Dan said. “Every player learns differently and good coaches know it is a matter of finding a way to reach each player.”
Tim Quinn said a key to his little brother's success is his heart and the love of the game and that Dan’s heart is as big as they come.
"Dan was a natural from the beginning and showed leadership at all levels from Twin Town Tigers midget football to high school football at Morristown High School and at the college level at Salisbury State University," Tim said. "He was the team captain his senior year at Morristown and his junior and senior years at Salisbury State."
According to Tim, the teacher side of Dan emerged early as well.
"In high school Dan also led the Peer Leadership program. He became a great coach because of his enthusiasm and ability to teach and demonstrate. Dan is a motivator and throughout his playing and coaching careers he has always know the right way to inspire others to achieve and perform at the highest level possible," Tim said.
Tim said that the family has seen the youngest Quinn coach before at Giants Stadium and at MetLife Stadium before and they will be in attendance Sunday as well.
"This is extra special, Tim said. "We are very proud of all he has accomplished."
And they aren't the only ones. Former teammate in Morristown Chris Johnson told the Daily Record how Dan had always known what to say to players. And on Wednesday members of the Morris Township Committee congratulated the coach. Committeeman Jeff Grayzel said that the Township was proud of Quinn as a native of the community and urged everyone to root for the Seahawks.
That is a given for Tim Quinn, but growing up the clan had an allegiance to Big Blue. And that hasn't changed.
"Die hard Giants fans," Tim said. "That hasn't changed. And we root for any team Dan is coaching for."