JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (AP)East Tennessee State has hired Furman offensive coordinator George Quarles as the Buccaneers’ head coach.

Athletic director Scott Carter introduced Quarles on Thursday as the 19th coach in ETSU history, describing him as a coach who personifies winning from his high school days in East Tennessee.

”We first met as rivals on a football field in 1995, and I have always admired his love of the game and competitive spirit,” Carter said. ”During many years as friends and competitors, I have wanted to work with him and am so excited that today we get to do just that.”

Quarles was with Furman the past five seasons as associate head coach, the last four as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. He also played at Furman, helping the Paladins win the 1988 FCS national title. During his time on the coaching staff, Furman reached the FCS playoffs in 2017 and 2019 and shared the regular-season Southern Conference championship in 2018.

He started coaching as a graduate assistant at his alma mater in 1989 before becoming an assistant high school coach in 1992.

Quarles took over at Maryville High school in 1999 and went on to win 11 state championships. He was the winningest high school coach in the country from 2007-16, including a nation’s-best streak of 74 straight victories with four consecutive state titles.

At ETSU, he takes over for Randy Sanders, who went 11-2 in his final season and retired after a 27-3 loss to North Dakota State in the FCS quarterfinals.

”We are hoping to build onto the championship culture that has already been established. ETSU is an amazing place with amazing people. I can’t wait to get started,” Quarles said.

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