NEWINGTON - Ed Quick outlined three factors that he believes lead to success: a clear vision, unbelievable passion and putting in the time necessary to attain it.
And Newington believes Quick will bring those qualities and more to a boys basketball program that has already had plenty of success over the past 15 seasons. Last Wednesday, Quick was hired as the new boys basketball head coach after spending the past two seasons as an assistant at Trinity College.
“I’ve been coaching in high school and college and at this stage of my career - I was at Trinity College - I was ready to take over a program myself,” Quick said. “And I think this is an awesome town and an awesome community. It really caught my eye.”
Quick takes over the program from Scot Wenzel, who stepped down on May 23 as the Indians head coach to spend more time with his family. Wenzel finished his 14 years at Newington with a 187-122 record, including a Class L Final Four appearance in the 2015-16 season. Last season, the Indians went 14-6.
Quick impressed early in the interview process. After an extensive search, he became the top choice for a number of reasons, including his basketball background, relatability to parents and players and his focus on education-based athletics.
Moving forward, Newington believes it has the right coach that will not only continue to build the program’s success on the court, but the academic success off it as well.
“We’re very excited to have coach Quick on board,” Newington athletic director Christopher Meyers said. “He understands not only high school players, but college and understands the process it takes to get them there.
“He talked about how his traits as a coach would translate back to academics. Qualities that we look for such as industriousness, attention to detail, are things that are going to make students successful not only in basketball, but after high school as well, such as when they go for a job interview.”
Quick’s hire also marks the second marquee position Meyers has filled at the school over the past six months. Jason Pace was hired as the head football coach at the end of January.
“It’s exhausting,” Meyers said. “You lose a lot of night’s sleep. There’s a lot of coordination, a lot of time trying to determine if those decisions are going to be the right ones for the students, the parents and the community, not only for the next year, but, like with coach Wenzel, hopefully the next 15.
“None of it is taken lightly. You have to decide who, out of a number of highly qualified candidates, is going to do the more phenomenal job.”
And the Indians new head coach brings plenty of experience with him to Newington.
Prior to spending the last two seasons at Trinity, Quick was the interim head coach at Western Connecticut State University in 2014-15 with head coaching stops at Daniel Webster College, Hartford Public High School, and Glastonbury High School along the way. He has also had stints as an assistant coach at Western Connecticut, Wesleyan University and Glastonbury High School.
But for Quick, his new job will be more than just the wins and the losses. It will be about the development of the players on and off the court as well as engagement with the town and community, something that he puts great emphasis on. There are already some youth camps in the works.
“Stylistically, it’s about teaching the kids how to play and not what to play,” Quick said. “And you need to develop a community-based program. Kids need to learn. You can run 75 different things or one thing really well. If you develop skills along the way, by the time they get to the high school level, those things will take care of themselves.
“I love practice. Your ability to run highly efficient practices and instruction as well as being in the community is important. We live in a society that is ‘show me now’ and I believe development is so much more important. During the hiring process, someone asked me on the panel [about] development versus winning and I said it’s not even close.”
Quick knows there could be growing pains along the way with the players and coach learning one another, but it is all about keeping the big picture of not only this season, but future ones, in mind along the way.
“There will be a transitional time, but I can’t worry about that,” Quick said. “It’s the big picture that you’re trying to create and hopefully it will continue to grow and get there. You have to take an honest approach to everything you do and treat players like they’re your own children. It’s about having an open mind and building relationships. Like in any walk of life, it’s about building relationships.
“I always tell people, it’s an honor every time you have a chance to step into a gym, school and community. This is where I want to be.”
David Glovach can be reached at (860) 801-5085 or firstname.lastname@example.org
On Twitter: @DavidGlovach