EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 11: A general view of the ball taken during the game between the Oakland Raiders and the New York Jets on December 18, 2005 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Jets defeated the Raiders 26-10.(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

By Chuck O’Donnell – Editor Tap Into New Brunswick

(Article as seen on Tap Into New Brunswick)

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – John Quinn, the coach who helped engineer a starting turnaround for the New Brunswick High School football program that included three sectional titles, has announced he is retiring from high school athletics.

Quinn, who has most recently served as the athletic director at Plainfield High School, guided the Zebras to the playoffs in each of his seasons as coach (2002-2009).

Coach John Quinn

Coach John Quinn (R) with his son Jack (L) and former Giants lineback Nick Casillas, who played for Quinn as a H.S. student. Photo: TapInto New Brunswick.

The Zebras compiled a 68-19 record over that span, and the highlight came in 2003 when they finished undefeated (12-0) for the second time in school history and the first time since 1926.

That season ended with a victory over Long Branch in the Central Jersey Group 3 championship game. Dwayne Jarrett, a Parade All-American at New Brunswick High School would go on to be a consensus All-American at USC and a second-round draft choice of the Carolina Panthers, scored three touchdowns in that victory.

Another member of that team, Jonathan Casillas, went on to win two Super Bowl rings as a member of the New Orleans Saints and New England Patriots, and also played linebacker for the New York Giants.

The postgame celebration was captured by a photo in the Star-Ledger showing Quinn being doused by a bucket of Gatorade by his players. It was a fitting celebration for a team that had not had a winning record since 1993 and hadn’t won a playoff game since the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association created the current format in 1974.

Although Quinn experienced success at his other coaching stops – he retires as only head football coach in New Jersey history to win state titles in Groups 2, 3, 4 and 5 – he is especially proud of his time in New Brunswick. Among the players he coaches was Nate Harris, the current coach of the Zebras.

“The community got behind us and I learned quickly that the kids in New Brunswick are special student-athletes,” Quinn told TAPinto New Brunswick. “They were excited to go to the next level, to play at a higher level. We had 16 players go on and play in college on the Division I level.”

Quinn is a member of the New Jersey Scholastic Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

He has spent 36 years in public education in New Jersey, including the past six at Plainfield High School.

After he officially retires July 1, Quinn said he plans to spend time with his family and do some traveling.