SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Savannah State football head coach Shawn Quinn announced on Wednesday morning that he is resigning his position.
“Tiger Nation, thank you for the opportunity to be head coach at Savannah State University,” Quinn wrote in a statement posted to Twitter. “I want to thank our players, our staff, our families for the hard work and the great memories that we made. To our fans, university, alumni, Savannah, the 912, thank you for embracing us and being part of what made this job so special.”
“As our family sets off on a new adventure, we look forward to seeing the Tigers do big things in the years to come. It has been an honor and a privilege. This isn’t a goodbye, it’s a see you down the road.”
In an interview with local media shortly after the announcement, Quinn emphasized that he was proud of how far the program had come during his time there. He recalled walking into a Tanger Outlet store to buy his daughter a present, seeing a rack of Savannah State gear and crying with joy.
It’s not something that anybody would have seen just a few short years ago.
“This was the worst football program in America – I can unequivocally say that – at any level when we got there.”
Quinn is coming off a successful season with the Tigers, going 8-2 overall and 5-1 in conference. Their only two losses came on the road to Valdosta State and Albany State, two teams that made the Division II playoffs.
The 2019 season was Quinn’s first at the helm of the Tigers; a season that saw the team go 5-0 in the SIAC and 7-3 overall. That year would have also led to a postseason berth if Savannah State were eligible; the Tigers were still in the transition period from Division I to Division II at the time.
Overall, Quinn went 15-5 in his two seasons with the team.
“I would tell a coach coming in here that this is a good place with a lot to offer but the biggest thing is you have to fight for your players.”
Quinn was referring to the lack of facilities at Savannah State; the program does not have a weight room and is several years past due for a new playing field, which became an issue when heavy rain nearly forced them to forfeit their final game.
Still, there are enough positives at Savannah State, from its location to its strong recruiting base, for Quinn to see a dynasty in the making.
“There’s no reason we can’t be like Valdosta State every year. That’s the one I continually talk about, but once we get the facilities in line, this is a great job. This is a plum job. There’s a great city here and that sells itself.”
“There are a lot of things coming down the pipe that are good….Savannah State’s on the right path.”
FootballScoop has reported that Quinn is joining the staff of Virginia Tech coach Brent Pry, but Quinn would not confirm or deny those rumors.
“We’ll see what happens here, I’ll leave it at that. It’s time for a new adventure here.”
Unlike most coaches, Quinn did not have a contract with Savannah State that guaranteed his employment for multiple years at a time. Instead, he was a yearly employee.
Savannah State athletics released a statement on Quinn’s departure that reads in part:
“Savannah State University Head Football Coach Shawn Quinn submitted his resignation Wednesday morning. It will be effective on Tuesday, December 7.
Following the sudden announcement, Savannah State Athletics Administration will make an assessment of the program. Updates will be forthcoming.
“On behalf of Savannah State University, I would like to thank Coach Quinn for his three years of service as our head coach,” Savannah State President Kimberly Ballard-Washington said. “He wholeheartedly devoted himself to the success of the football program for which we are grateful.”
“We are thankful for Coach Quinn’s time here at Savannah State,” Director of Athletics Opio Mashariki said. “He turned the page for Savannah State football and put us on track to be a competitive program within our new conference and division. As the search for a new coach begins, we will be looking for a person who can continue to build on the foundation that has been laid.”
Savannah State’s full statement can be found here.