The past and the present were on hand for new North Augusta High School head football coach Matt Quinn’s first official practice with the Yellow Jackets. Quinn, who took over for Jim Bob Bryant, invited former North Augusta head coach Dan Pippin to come speak with the team.
Pippin coached North Augusta from 2006 to 2013, winning a Region 3-4A title in 2010, and making it to at least the quarterfinals of the SCHSL playoffs his last five seasons. He also coached at South Aiken High School from 2000-’05, before leaving North Augusta to coach at Greenwood High School until 2019. Pippin has spent the last several years coaching in Rome, Italy with the Lazio Ducks of the Italian Professional League. He was back in South Carolina for a brief stop before leaving to take on his next job as head coach of the Hungarian National Team.
“I got fired up coming back on this field again talking to the guys again,” said Pippin.
Several of Quinn’s current assistant coaches played for, or coached with Pippin during his time at NAHS. “Being at North Augusta and seeing the coaches and guys that played for me, and even Rob Morgan who coached with me, to see them out here man, I can’t explain it man about how proud I am. This is cool,” added Pippin.
Quinn comes to NAHS after compiling a 15-11 record during three seasons as the head coach at Westwood High School in Blythewood, South Carolina. Quinn says his team returns seven or eight starters on defense, as well as their quarterback and most of their skill players on offense.
Quinn hopes to return the Yellow Jackets to a consistent level in year one. “There is a lot of tradition, a lot of history and that was part of the reason I wanted to be here,” said Quinn. “So we just have to get our kids to buy in and understand the town dynamic, playing for the black and gold, what it means for everybody here,” he added. “And once they buy into that, I think we can get over that hump,” said Quinn.
His first few months in the Augusta area have come with some rites of passage for locals. “When I come into town, and I think it was my second or third week in town, I got to go The Masters,” said Quinn, adding that it was his first time attending the tournament. “And then I got to be involved in the Peach Jam and got to meet some really cool guys including (Lebron) ‘King’ James which was awesome,” said Quinn. “Yes, it was my first time at The Masters and I got to see Tiger Woods tee off, so I guess I got to meet two GOATS this summer,” he added.
The Yellow Jackets finished the 2021 season with a 6-6 record, reaching the second round of the playoffs. North Augusta opens the season on Friday, August 19 at Evans High School.