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Pirate
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No. 16

With Ron Cherubini
©2001-2002 Bonesville.net


Norman Quick – Gifted Lineman
Finishing Where He Started

Loyalty First and Foremost 

By Ron Cherubini
©2002 Bonesville.net

All loyalties considered, Norman Quick need look no further than the group of young men standing in front of him as he digs his feet into the turf on the practice field at Scotland County High School to know where his first obligation lies.

As the offensive line coach at perennial powerhouse Scotland County, Quick knows that his players – aside from his own family – are the most important people to him. So it is sometimes with a silent inner disappointment that he finds himself telling one of his linemen that North Carolina or N.C. State may be a better choice. But even after having to do what is best for his player, Quick’s love and loyalty for his alma mater, East Carolina, never lag too far behind.

“Back when I was recruited,” Quick said, “When I took a visit (to ECU) and met some of the guys and staff, I fell in love with the place… really did.”

Quick was one of the lesser-profiled men who lined up for the Pirates in the early 1980s and was a main cog in a powerful offensive line that came within five points in 1983 of perhaps a major bowl bid. Today — the former Pirate player, whom his coach at the time, Ed Emory, described as “…ornery with good speed. He was a fine college lineman and worked very hard to become one” — is maybe a little less ornery, but no less driven. But now the drive is focused on helping young men maximize their potential and understand all there is to learn about life from football.

“I always kind of felt (the pull of coaching) when I was playing,” Quick said. “I always picked up on things well and never had a problem learning, so it makes some sense. After I lost my dream of the NFL when I got hurt, I decided to become a coach. I thought about college at one time, but when I started out with high school and my family settled in a bit, I decided I didn’t want to travel (like college would demand).”

It makes perfect sense that Quick would end up where he started – at Scotland County. It was his own prep coach, Mike Dubis, who helped start him on the course that would ultimately bring him back home and to the very field upon which he earned his ticket to Division I football.

“Coach Dubis was certainly one of my influences,” Quick said.

Young Scotland lineman Norman Quick signs with East Carolina. Mr. N.W.
Quick, Norman's father is also an ECU alum, class of '49. (Submitted Photo)

For Quick, whose father played for the Pirates in the late ‘40s, the decision to choose East Carolina over North Carolina State and Duke came down to impressions. He fell in love with the campus instantly on his official visit, but it was more than that.

“The people,” Quick said. “I met John Floyd on my visit and he became a real good friend of mine. Bob Sanders recruited me well and of course, there was Ed Emory. I was so happy with my choice because I really liked Greenville.”

Upon arriving on campus, Quick realized that not only were the members of his recruiting class in 1980 extremely talented, but also that the college level was much different than high school.

“I was overwhelmed, absolutely,” Quick said. “We practiced four times a day with the first one at 6:30 a.m. and practices were broken up into periods of five minutes. It was much more structured (than high school).”

To get through it, Quick found camaraderie with his teammates as the ultimate motivation.

“There was John (Floyd) who played center and Tony Hensley who also played center and was three years ahead of me. And Earnest (Byner) who came in when I did… they were the main (friends).”

Quick got off to a promising start, moving off the scout team and into the second team behind Pirate great Wayne Inman. After Inman was injured, Quick was moved into the starting lineup, rotating with Bud Laycock. Quick didn’t get to enjoy his playing time long as he tore up a knee, ending his freshman season and going on redshirt.

It took little time after he healed, though, for Quick to solidify himself as a starting guard during his redshirt freshman year in 1981.

“I really thought we had some good young players,” he said. “Emory was such a great recruiter and (the program) was going in the right direction.”

As one of those good, young players, Quick remembers well his first start.

“I was nervous and didn’t want to mess up,” he said. “I didn’t want to lose my position. My first start was up at West Virginia and (playing in college) really hits you, especially in a place like (Morgantown) because of how big-time they were at the time.”

By his junior season in 1983, Quick was playing his best football. As he looked around at the surrounding cast, he could sense the opportunity the team could have.

“The closeness of that team was incredible,” Quick said. “Even in winter conditioning and through to spring ball, we all sensed (how special the team was). Of course, it turned out that it was a great season. I thought we should have been in a bowl and I do believe that had we won just one of those Florida games, we would have been in a big bowl.”

At 6-2½ and 265 pounds, Quick was a moderate-sized lineman in that era, but by no means was he considered typical. He got by on tenacity.

“I was a good offensive lineman, I think, even in high school,” he said. “The big thing is that I came from a good program and I had a good high school coach which helped best prepare me for the next level. I wasn’t real big but I was athletic and physical. I could run and in Emory’s trap option, I had the right tools to excel.”

And excel he did.

Against the likes of Wilber Marshall (Florida), Lafonsa Karikar (FSU) and Vaughn Johnson (N.C. State). Quick and his O-line mates blew open holes for Byner, who was one of the best backs to ever strap on the purple and gold.

“Earnest was not only a great pro and college player, but he was also a great person and truly was the leader of that team,” Quick said. “We all looked up to Byner and I was very proud to watch him play (in the NFL) and tell my kids that I played with him. There were lots of guys on that team that went to the pros and Earnest was the best of them all.”

Like Earnest and all of the players on that 1983 team, Quick sometimes thinks about the possibilities that might have been had they beat one of the Florida teams.

Quick with family – wife Carol, son Matt,
daughter Megan – in 1999. (Submitted)

“Five points…,” he said. “We should have won that game (against Miami). We lost a game we should have won against the national champions. Five points. After that Miami game, the Orange Bowl officials who were at the game to watch Miami, came into our locker room and told us how much we impressed them and they told us that (we) definitely deserved a bowl. Then we beat Southern Miss and a bowl bid never came. It was very disappointing for us all.”

As disappointing as the end of the 1983 season was, the beginning of the 1984 season was even worse for Quick. In his senior year, Quick was injured in the spring.

“I fractured my back,” he said. “The doctor recommended that I not play, but he also said I wasn’t risking paralysis. I wanted to play my last season and I did. But, it was painful. I couldn’t lift weights and I couldn’t play the way I wanted to. I also cracked one of my ribs and added to the pain.”

Then the season fizzled to an end with the firing of his coach. It was a tough time, but that is when another coach pulled him back home.

“My high school coach hired me out of college,” he said. “But I was only there for a little while before going to Richmond County for a few years.”

Going to Richmond from Scotland County might not be exactly like going from ECU to UNC, but it is a close parallel, so Quick made his way back to Scotland County where he has been ever since. Ironically, he now is pitted against his old coach, Emory, each year in a classic grudge match against Richmond Senior.

“Even when he was back at Anson, it was tough to coach against him,” Quick said. “I obviously think so much of Coach Emory, but I try to beat him every time we play.”

His success as a coach can be measured in wins as Scotland County is regularly a state title contender, but it can also be measured in the number of players, particularly linemen, he sends up to college. Having excelled in the trenches, Quick has more than a little insight into his players' challenges.

“Playing the position makes me realize what they are going through and it is tough down there,” he said. “I want to try to win more than you lose, but you understand that these boys are going to make mistakes and you know how hard it is to whip that boy in front of you.”

Quick takes pride, lots of it, when he sees his players play on the next level, and it is no different with David Jorgenson, who got his first playing time as a Pirate recently.

“It makes me very proud to see David doing so well, obviously,” he said. “I would like all of my players to go to ECU. David wanted to (be a Pirate) and he worked very hard to put himself in position to play and he has done that. I am proud of David and was excited when he chose ECU. I always tell my players that East Carolina was the greatest experience I ever had.”


Coaching his boys at Scotland at Lumberton in 2002.
(Photo: Brian Klimek of The Laurinburg Exchange)

Quick, who also serves as head track coach at Scotland County, lives for Thursday and Friday nights and he has sunk himself into Scotland County High School.

“It is very special to be back here,” he said. “This school has a great (athletic) tradition. I’m proud we line up to play and win every time.”

And Quick likes to think he brings a unique ingredient to the program.

“I think that ECU taught me discipline and how to do the right thing. I learned the value of doing things promptly and managing things for success. I plan to keep on keeping on. I really enjoy what I’m doing and I really like it (at Scotland). I plan on sticking around for a while.”

It makes sense. For Quick, loyalty is as loyalty does.

Send an e-mail message to Ron Cherubini.

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NORMAN QUICK BIO BOX
Name:

Norman Quick (Dawg)
 

Age:

40
.

Sport:

Football
.

Years at ECU:

1980-84
.

Position/Jersey No.

Offensive Guard/ No. 51
.

Hometown:

Laurinburg, NC
.

Currently Resides:

Laurinburg, NC
.

Occupation:
  • Physical Education Teacher/Offensive Coordinator (Football), Head Track Coach

Walking the sidelines as part
of the NC staff at the 2001
Shrine Bowl in Rock Hill, SC.
(Photo: Brian Klimek of The
Laurinburg Exchange)

Degree(s)
  • BS Driver Education, East Carolina University

  • BS Physical Education, St. Andrews College       

Marital Status:

Married - Carol Quick
.

Children:
  • Matthew, 13

  • Megan, 8

Quotable: 

“My son (Matthew) is a football player, which shocks a lot of people because he is undersized… kind of like I was. But, he does a real good job on the field and he is much better than me in the classroom.”
.

TEN QUESTIONS

1. Who is your favorite current Pirate and why?

“It is a tie between David Jorgenson, Garret Peterkin, and Brandon Rainer because I coached all three of them in football and track at Scotland High School.”
.
.

2. What do you miss most about ECU?

“The friendships that I had and the town itself.  It was a great community to live in.”
.

3. Where is your favorite spot on the ECU campus?

“Ficklen Stadium!”
 

4. What was your dorm room and favorite dorm story?

“My room number was 115-D Belk. My favorite dorm story was when we used to order Domino’s Pizza – when they had the 30 minute guarantee. We would order the pizza and then when the delivery guy would come, we would have set our clocks ahead so the pizza was late. He would always argue, but we won in the end.”

.

5. Greatest Moment as a Pirate football player?

“The 1983 win over N.C. State.”

.

6. Most disliked opponent?

“Any of the ACC schools, especially N.C. State and Carolina.”
.

7. Athletic Influences?

“My father (N.W. Quick, ECU ’49) and my high school coach Mike Dubis.”
.
.

8. Favorite coach?

“Ed Emory, John Zernheldt, Terry Lewis, Art Baker, Mike Dubis, Bob Sanders, and Larry Beckish.”
.
.

9. Best Locker Room Story

“When we played Duke one year, we all took the towels from the locker room. At our Sunday meeting, Ed Emory told us that Duke had called and they were going to bill us for the towels. Coach Emory said we all needed to turn our towels in. I have mine right here (today).”
.

10. Best Emerald City hangout?

“The Elbow Room.”
.

 
 

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02/23/2007 02:08:40 PM

 

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