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Dan Quinn's Coaching Influences


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Dan Quinn discusses biggest coaching influences

Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, who is expected to be introduced as the Atlanta Falcons' next head coach Tuesday, has drawn his share of media attention this week leading into Sunday's Super Bowl.

ESPN.com's Josh Weinfuss caught up with Quinn and asked which coaches have had the biggest influence on him as he prepares to take the next step up the coaching ranks.

AP Photo/Ted S. WarrenDan Quinn's coaching influences reach back to his days at Hofstra.
"Oh man, there's been a bunch," Quinn said. "When I first started coaching in college, there was a guy by the name of Joe Gardi. He was the defensive coordinator for the [New York] Jets during their early 1980s when they had the 'Sack Exchange.' We had a terrific staff there at Hofstra. So when we were first getting going there into coaching, what a great mentor [Gardi was] for all the young guys who were a part of his staff."

Gardi, who died in 2010, was the head coach at Hofstra from 1990-2005. Quinn coached at Hofstra from 1996-2000, starting as the defensive line coach and ending as the defensive coordinator.

Quinn went from Hofstra to the pros, catching on with the San Francisco 49ers in 2001 as a defensive quality control coach.

"When I first got into the NFL, my first coaching job was with the 49ers and Steve Mariucci was the coach," Quinn recalled. "There was guy there by the name of Bill McPherson who had been on the 49ers' staff for a long time and won five Super Bowls with them. He was probably the biggest influence on me early on, from a defensive standpoint. At the time, he was a 70-year-old guy who took a 30-year-old guy under his wing and helped train and teach me. So I had a great appreciation for that."

Quinn was with the 49ers from 2001-04, ending as the defensive line coach. He then went on to become the defensive line coach of the Miami Dolphins.

"I went to the Miami Dolphins and learned a great deal from Nick Saban, who was the coach there at the time," Quinn said.

Of course, Quinn couldn't go without mentioning his current boss, Pete Carroll.

"Coach Carroll has had a huge impact on me," Quinn said. "[He's] always finding, 'Is there another way to do it? How else can we challenge? How else can we go?'"

Carroll's coaching style has helped the Seahawks make it to consecutive Super Bowls, with one title already under their belts. Maybe Quinn can bring the same time of coaching influence to the Falcons.
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