Quinn Backus’ résumé speaks for itself.
One won’t hear much about it from him, though. Instead, the Coastal Carolina legend is focused on his current task, hoping for similar results that made him a star in Conway.
In January, Backus traded in his helmet and shoulder pads for a headset, joining the Myrtle Beach football coaching staff. Currently, he serves as the team’s secondary coach.
“When I was told there was a position available, I was very excited,” he said. “Being a linebacker (in high school and at Coastal Carolina), my first thought was it would be fun to teach safeties what to look for, what to know in terms of the whole field and not just their position.”
During his four years at Coastal Carolina, Backus earned All-America honors in addition to being named Big South Defensive Player of the Year three times. His 414 career tackles top the Chanticleers’ all-time list, and rank 14th in NCAA FCS history.
As with any community, you see guys come and go. They play football and make a name for themselves, but after that’s over many don’t have a direction. But maybe we (as coaches) can show them by doing the right things, keeping your nose clean that good things can happen — whether it be on the football field, or life in general.
Myrtle Beach assistant coach Quinn Backus
Early in his tenure, Myrtle Beach football players would ask about his days playing college football. While able to talk for hours about his exploits on the gridiron, Backus said he would often follow their inquiry with one of his own.
“They know my résumé. But the thing that sometimes surprises them is I was basically in the same seat they were at one time,” he said. “Everyone won’t have the opportunity to play college football. But my whole thing is making sure they maximize their potential.”
Highly touted as a linebacker at Greenwood, football was a big part of Backus’ high school experience. He also knew life would continue after it ends, and wanted to give himself a fair shot if playing the game he loved didn’t pan out.
“I’ve always wanted to get the most out of football and life, in general,” he said. “I always had a ‘Plan B,’ so my grades were always important, and I made sure they were always in good standing. But for some reason, standardized tests always bothered me.”
According to Backus, he took the SAT four times — each without the desired result. He wouldn’t settle for less, however, doing his part to seek out the proper channels to do so.
“People really do care. A lot of coaches, a lot of teachers, counselors,” the Coastal Carolina great said. “But they also made sure we weren’t given anything. They wanted us to earn it. Part of that was because they believed in us to begin with.”
With the assistance of a tutor, he eventually earned the SAT score allowing him to proceed toward his dream of playing college football.
I pray to have the right mindset with these kids. I want to build them up, instead of tearing them down.
Myrtle Beach assistant coach Quinn Backus
From a tradition-rich community himself, Backus said a lot of similarities exist between in his hometown and the place he now resides. And with every passing day, his passion is to steer young people toward a brighter future.
“You can’t bring up Myrtle Beach without bringing up Everett Golson. And while a lot of people say he’s a great, quality guy, the thing they’ll also say is that he was a hard worker,” he said. “I’ve now been here for about six years, and daily I’ve wanted to tap further into this community and use my platform as a way to give kids hope.
“As with any community, you see guys come and go. They play football and make a name for themselves, but after that’s over many don’t have a direction. But maybe we (as coaches) can show them by doing the right things, keeping your nose clean that good things can happen — whether it be on the football field, or life in general.
“It’s one of the reasons I eventually chose to be a guidance counselor.”
Even as a person of influence, Backus still routinely finds himself back in the role of student.
“I’ve only been at (coaching) since January, and have learned a whole lot,” he said. “I just wanted to be a sponge and soak up as much new information as possible.
“More importantly, I pray to have the right mindset with these kids. I want to build them up, instead of tearing them down. In the big picture, we’re all human and will make mistakes. But at the end of the day, we still love them and that won’t change.”