FRISCO - For North Texas SC, the second year in existence will be filled with uncertainty. It is sure to try and retain crucial pieces from a championship team but it will be a fight. The team will also be moving into Globe Life Park for its games, a bigger and more imposing venue. But one piece that will certainly remain is the presence of head coach Eric Quill on the touchline.
Quill was not an entirely unknown name to the FC Dallas organization. He spent one year with the Dallas Burn before the team rebranded. The organization was also not hesitant to hire coaches with no first team experience, with Quill's extensive experience with other coaching playing a role in their decision making.
Despite this being his first leading role, Quill has an extensive and impressive resume. Quill led the Texans SC to their first ever U.S. Development Academy Championship in 2017. He used that experience to spend time with the younger levels of the U.S. national team. Since one of the key goals of North Texas was to develop young players, Quill’s hiring was an easy call for the team.
“It was a big thing that he focused on player development and something that he stood by,” North Texas SC General Manager Matt Deny. “He is a real team player, tries to send players to FC Dallas when it is the right decision and a lot of coaches may not have done the same thing.”
This was a focus of Quill and he certainly delivered. Academy player Arturo Rodriguez took a big step forward in his professional career, earning Young Player of the Year and MVP in USL League One’s inaugural season. Imanol Almaguer and David Rodriguez were other examples of players who took big steps forward, with Almaguer performing so well he was signed to the longest contract on the team midyear, and Rodriguez being the only North Texas player invited to train with Bayern Munich during the offseason.
“His focus is development, and his motivation and ambition to see players succeed is the main thing that has shown through with Eric which makes it a great fit for the organization,” Denny added when discussing how Quill had improved over the course of the season. “We loved how he improved over the course of the year.”
Quill also earned quite a few accolades himself. Along with the many awards his players racked up, Quill won the 2019 USL League One Coach of the Year. Quill instilled an attacking style in the team that made them dominant in USL League One, finishing with the best goal differential by 10 and topping the league with seven more goals than any other team. Quill also coaxed some amazing performances out of players like Ronaldo Damus who won the Golden Boot in his first professional season and also had the best minutes to goal ratio of all eligible players.
“This isn’t an award about me,” Quill said when discussing his 2019 USL League one Coach of the Year. “This is about my wonderful staff around me and how great a job they did. This is also about the boys [North Texas players], and how well they performed the entire year.” While this was a refrain from the consistently modest Quill over the year, there is one undeniable fact: North Texas SC will look forward to his steadying hand at the tiller for the next few years.