George Quarles, one of the most successful high school head football coaches in the country, recently completed his first season as Furman’s associate head coach and coach of the Paladins’ tight ends. On Dec. 13, 2017, he was named the program’s offensive coordinator and coach of the Paladins’ quarterbacks.
In his first campaign under new head coach Clay Hendrix he coached All-SoCon and NCAA Post-Graduate scholar tight end Andy Schumpert, who caught 32 passes for 652 yards and nine touchdowns in the Paladins’ 8-5 campaign that netted a FCS playoff appearance.
Over the past year he was inducted into both the Tennessee Football Coaches and Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association Halls of Fame.
Quarles, a 1989 Furman graduate and starting wide receiver on the Paladins’ 1988 NCAA FCS (I-AA) National Championship team, spent 22 years at Maryville (Tenn.) High School, including the final 18 as head coach, during which time he recorded a stupendous coaching record of 250-16 (.939), making him one of the most successful prep coaches in the United States. The fastest coach in U.S. high school football history to register 200 wins, he guided Maryville to 11 state championships, including the last four in TSSAA Class 6A, and 15 state title game appearances, and won at least 10 games every season there.
During his remarkable run at Maryville, Quarles coached the Rebels to a nation’s-best 74 consecutive wins during one stretch that included four consecutive state championships. After taking over the Maryville program in 1999, he went 10-7 in his first 17 games, which he followed with a mark of 240-9 (.964). He is the winningest high school coach in America over the last 10 years.
A seven-time state coach of the year selection, he was named Tennessee Titans Coach of the Year in 2005 and PrepXtra Coach of the Year in 2005 and ‘13.
In 2010 he coached the East Team in the prestigious Army All-American Bowl, an elite all-star game for the top senior football players in the country, after serving as offensive coordinator in the event in 2008.
Prior to stepping into Maryville’s head coaching shoes in 1999, he served as an assistant on the Rebels’ staff for four seasons (1995-98), handling offensive coordinator duties and coaching the program’s quarterbacks and defensive backs.
He held those same duties over three seasons (1992-94) as an assistant coach at Greenville’s Eastside High School after beginning his full-time coaching career at Cedar Shoals (Ga.) High School in 1991.
Quarles served as a graduate assistant at Furman for the 1989 and ‘90 seasons — both Southern Conference Championship campaigns for the Paladins. In that role he worked with the defensive backs and coordinated the scout team offense.
He earned two letters during his playing career at Furman. The Jefferson County, Tenn., native led Furman with 18 receptions for 295 yards as a senior in 1988, helping the Paladins go 13-2, win the SoCon championship, and claim the NCAA FCS (I-AA) national title — made possible by his 42-yard touchdown reception in Furman’s 13-9, semifinal playoff victory over Marshall in Huntington, W.Va.
In 1985, his freshman year at Furman, the Paladins went 12-2, won the SoCon title, and went on to register a national runner-up finish.
He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Furman in 1989 and later secured a Master’s of Education degree in administration and supervision from Lincoln Memorial University.
He and his wife, Leslie, have two sons: Jack and Beau.