Norman Quick – Gifted Lineman
Finishing Where He Started
First and Foremost
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.
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.
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).”
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
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
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.
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
get through it, Quick found camaraderie with his teammates as the
“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.
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.”
one of those good, young players, Quick remembers well his first start.
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.”
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
“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.”
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.
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
“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.”
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.
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
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
“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
“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
“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.
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.”
makes sense. For Quick, loyalty is as loyalty does.
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