Quinn eager to play

August 17, 2004


Matt Quinn says he doesn't know why he chose to play for Campbellsville University three years ago, but he says it's much clearer to him now.

Quinn will be back on the field for Campbellsville this fall after sitting out last season, and the Boyle County High School graduate said it's where he believes he is supposed to be.

He said the tribulations he brought on himself and the kindnesses shown by others have brought him to a better place, and he isn't just talking about his outside linebacker position.


"I feel like Campbellsville was the place for me," he said. "I don't know why I went to Campbellsville at the time - when I was a freshman, I was thinking, 'What am I doing here?' - but I think God wanted me to be here.

"I believe everything happens for a reason. It's part of God's plan."

He says he has matured and learned from his problems in recent years - including an arrest in 2000 and his suspension for the entire 2003 season - and he said caring for his young daughter has changed him in ways he never imagined.

"It's so hard to describe; she's changed me so much," Quinn said.

Quinn said he became a Christian last year, and one of those who came to his baptism was former Campbellsville coach Ron Finley, who lost his job because of what he did for Quinn in 2002. Finley loaned Quinn $5,000 late in the 2002 season.

"He lost his job so I could continue to play at Campbellsville. I felt like if I left, it'd be a slap in his face," Quinn said.

Quinn said he owed $5,000 in legal restitution that he couldn't pay - it was part of his sentence for an arrest and conviction in his senior year of high school - and he said he went to Finley during the 2002 season to tell him he might well be on his way to jail.

Finley borrowed $5,000 and loaned it to Quinn, but an internal investigation, which the school subsequently reported to the NAIA and the Mid-South Conference, resulted in Finley being forced into retirement for giving Quinn the money.

Quinn was declared ineligible for the final game of the 2002 season and forced to sit out the entire 2003 season. He said he had opportunities to play elsewhere but he'll be back on the field for the Tigers this fall, and with his teammates standing firmly behind him, just as Quinn said they have done through the entire process.

In fact, they've even voted Quinn as one of the captains for the coming season.

"I think a lot of players look up to me and respect my work ethic," he said. "When I had to sit out a year, a lot of players don't do much of anything, but I came back stronger and faster and bigger. I showed my teammates I was still committed to the football team."

Quinn said he's looking forward to his first season under second-year defensive coordinator David Pool, who played for the NFL's Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots and who has installed a scheme that Quinn said looks much like the Boyle defense he starred on in 2000, when he was a Mr. Football finalist.

"This spring our defense really excited me," he said. "It reminded me of the way it was my senior year at Boyle County when everybody was flying around the football and having fun."

Quinn said he's glad to be part of the team again, saying it wasn't easy being on the outside looking in last fall.

"I still got to keep up with everybody, but I couldn't even really watch a whole game. It made me sick to my stomach," he said.

He said even watching Boyle games didn't feel right, because he felt like he should be playing football somewhere, anywhere. His only outlet was provided by Paul Dean, who asked Quinn to help him coach his Perryville Elementary team.

"That was the only thing I had to keep me in the game," he said.

He's also looking forward to family life with his daughter, Madison Olyvia, who will be 2 next month, and fiance Tiffany Teague. He lives with them in Perryville and will commute from there to Campbellsville during the season.

Quinn also talks with pride about his little girl, and he said his teammates have told him he's a far different person around his daughter than he is on the football field.

"I come off as this hard, tough guy," he said, "but when my little girl's around me, I'm soft."|None|***

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