At 25, the Augusta State men’s basketball assistant coach is laying a foundation for his future in the sport. Eventually, he wants to be a head coach in college on some level.
“There is no such thing as a bad job,” he said. “You either have a job or you don’t have a job.”
These days, Quarles is plenty busy. He’s helped Jaguars head coach Dip Metress with recruiting, as well as organized Garret Siler’s third-annual basketball camp in July. Also, Quarles coordinated a freshmen retention program on campus this past academic year.
“Time’s been pretty busy,” he said. “But I manage it.”
This week, he’s plenty swamped. Tuesday is the last day of classes; he is a year away from getting his graduate degree in Kinesiology & Health Science. Wednesday he has a presentation. Thursday is the school’s athletic banquet. Then Friday he leaves the country for a month.
Quarles is representing Rotary District 6920 as part of the Group Study Exchange Team trip that includes four other non-Rotarians. As part of a seven-city goodwill mission, Quarles and his team members will stay in the homes of Rotarians; he is armed with local Rotary flags and Masters Tournament memorabilia to give to his host family.
“I’m excited,” he said It’ll give me a chance to grow professionally.”
Quarles grew by leaps and bounds when, as a backup guard, he helped provide senior leadership on Augusta State’s run to the NCAA Division II title game in March 2008. After getting his degree, he spent two seasons as head coach of the Oak Hill Academy varsity red team.
After leading his program to a 44-15 mark in two seasons, Quarles took a job as an assistant coach at King College. He spent a season there before returning to his alma mater.
“I don’t want to be a job-hopper,” he said. “But I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to come home and be with Dip.”
Quarles said his first year with Augusta State was quite different than his experience at King. During timeouts, it was just Metress and Quarles, and Metress oftentimes asked Quarles for his advice.
“To know that he trusts me and he values my opinion, that’s going to prepare me to be a head coach,” Quarles said. “This experience right now is invaluable.”