By JERAMY STOVER, Staff Reporter
Coaching is something Matt Quirk knew he wanted to do for a long time. Coming from a family of soccer fans, he knew he would fall in love with the game easily. After his competitive playing days were over, Quirk, 25, began coaching one of Michigan’s elite youth soccer programs — the Michigan Rush.
He now finds himself coaching in the college ranks, as he was named head coach of the University of Michigan-Dearborn men’s soccer team, following last season.
He has shown he possesses the trait every coach needs to be successful: confidence. By using that confidence, Quirk hopes to build the Wolverines into a soccer powerhouse in the Wolverines-Hoosier Athletic Conference.
Staff Reporter, Jeramy Stover, sat down with Quirk for a Q-and-A session.
Q: Where were you born?
A: Trenton, Mich. Essentially, that’s where I was born and raised.
Q: What High School did you attend?
A: Trenton High School
Q: When did you start playing soccer?
A: Maybe like seven (years old), my older siblings played so I had to play.
Q: When did you know you wanted to be a coach?
A: Probably when I was like 14, and we had this English coach named Dean Flexton. That was probably it. I don’t know if I was quite that young, but when we first had him, he was awesome.
Q: What was your first coaching job?
A: Coaching a travel soccer team for Rush soccer club.
Q: What was going through your mind when you were given the head coaching job at UM-Dearborn?
A: Excitement. I knew we were going to be good this year; I knew we had a bunch of returning players.
Q: Your dad is the women’s soccer coach at UM-Dearborn. Is there anything you’ve learned from him that has helped you in coaching?
A: So much. Every time I am on the soccer field dealing with anyone, just leadership skills generally speaking.
Q: Did your dad coach you as a kid?
A: For one season of travel. Growing up we would play in the back yard and he would teach me all sorts of stuff he picked up.
Q: What is your favorite part of coaching?
A: Tough question. This sounds silly, because a lot of people would think this is the entirety of it, but the soccer end of it, the coaching on the field, because there’s so much administrative stuff and fundraising stuff. Being on the field with the team.
Q: Is there any individual or team achievement you’re most proud of?
A: I would just say what we’ve accomplished this year so far, maybe not result wise in games, but the building blocks we’ve made so far this year have been excellent.
Q: Who is your favorite soccer player?
A: Ryan Giggs.
Q: If you could coach any team in the world who would it be?
A: Oh dude, Manchester United over USA. Sorry, states.
Q: What are some of your hobbies outside of soccer?
A: I read a lot. I watch a lot of movies. I do some yoga.