Associate head coach Blair Quinn making an impact for Iowa soccer

After accumulating years of coaching experience around the college and professional game, the Overland Park, Kansas, native has been a valuable asset for Iowa so far.


Nichole Harris

Goalkeeper Claire Graves narrowly blocks a goal during the women’s soccer game against Nebraska at the Iowa Soccer Complex on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019. The Hawkeyes defeated the Cornhuskers 1-0.

Ben Palya, Sports Reporter

Iowa soccer associate head coach Blair Quinn certainly has a lot of miles under his belt, having coached in multiple places since 2000.

Quinn carved himself out a nice playing career, both collegiate and professional. At Rockhurst University, he helped his team in deep tournament runs and earned himself All-American status.

He played professional indoor soccer for six years across the country. Finishing his career where it all started was a great feeling for Quinn, who wrapped up playing for the Kansas City Comets.

“I grew up watching them in the late 80s and early 90s and to play for them as a pro was pretty exciting as a Kansas City kid,” he said.

During and after his playing career, Quinn had a slow and steady ascent up the coaching ladder, working his way from an assistant coach at Saint Mary and Rockhurst to Kansas and Arizona State. The Arizona State job was a springboard for him, and he eventually moved on to a head-coach job at New Mexico State.

“That was a great place for me,” Quinn said. “I was working with a fantastic coach and person, Kevin Boyd, who is still one of my closest friends today.”

Quinn made moves from Arizona to New Mexico to Houston before finally ending up with the Hawkeyes last season. He also gained valuable professional coaching experience with the Houston Dash of the National Women’s Soccer League while coaching at the University of Houston.

Quinn’s successful career has made him a highly sought-after coach, said head coach Dave DiIanni.

“I sought out who I believe is one of the top five goalkeeper coaches in the country in the collegiate level to come continue our development in not only that position, but our program,” DiIanni said.

Iowa’s previous goalkeeping coach now works with the Chicago Red Stars of the National Women’s Soccer League, so Quinn certainly had big shoes to fill.

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So far, he has done an excellent job, helping last season’s starter Claire Graves be a perennial goalkeeper in the Big Ten. Now with the starting job up for grabs, Quinn has been working with all the players to help focus onto the little details that go into making a save, something which redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Monica Wilhelm appreciates.

“He can see every tiny detail that goes into being a goalkeeper, like something we’re working on right now is where my feet are set,” Wilhelm said. “He puts so much time and effort into videoing us at practice so that we can watch the film and he can analyze it and help us grow.”

Quinn’s personability has made it a healthy competition.

“He understands his players because everyone is different and everyone responds differently to how you coach them,” Wilhelm said. “He really understands how I respond to certain situations and he knows whether he needs to push me harder, and he knows whether he needs to encourage me or keep me lighthearted.”

It’s a great chance for Quinn to take the program to another level and also move his family to the Midwest, which he calls home.

“I’m over the whole moving every two years thing, I want to be somewhere for a long time and have my kids have the chance to stay in one school for a long time,” Quinn said. “I was used to moving around and it was not a big deal to me but having some more stability for the family was more important in this instance.”

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