FRISCO - Newly appointed North Texas SC head coach Eric Quill is excited and motivated by the challenge of leading the club into its inaugural season in USL League One. Although taking the reins of a brand new club is tough task, Quill’s experience—both as a coach and a player—makes him a seamless fit for the role.
For one, Quill knows the organization intimately having played for the first team - then the Dallas Burn - during the 2004 season as he neared the end of his nine-year playing career in MLS. During this time, he began to understand the organization’s ethos of youth development and progression—an ethos that has thrived in the decade and a half since Quill last played in Dallas.
“The organization at FC Dallas is one I’m familiar with from being a player,” Quill said. “Their style and vision for how they integrate young kids to eventually reach the first team is really a focus of theirs and I’ve always admired them knowing exactly who they are. I’ve always said that if I ever got a chance one day to be a part of an organization like that, I would jump at it.”
His eagerness and understanding of youth development makes Quill a model candidate for the head coach of North Texas SC—a club that represents a crucial step between the academy level and Major League Soccer. Quill was previously technical director of Texans SC Houston and coached the team that took home the U.S. Development Academy U-18 Championship in 2017—the first national title in Texans SC history.
In fact, it was Quill who called now head coach Luchi Gonzalez in 2017 about a bright young defender from his championship team who was ready for the next challenge in his career: recently transferred Homegrown Chris Richards.
When considering his new position at the helm of North Texas SC, the competitive Quill has a clear goal in mind: Win.
“I’m an ultra competitor, I always set my sights very high—I try to win championships,” Quill said. “That’s just my human nature that takes over there, so the goal for me is to win a USL championship. Whether that’s realistic or not, who knows, but that’s going to be the goal.”
However, aside from winning, Quill is cognizant of the duty he has to his players to help them grow and establish themselves as professional players in USL, and possibly MLS.
“I feel very responsible for the development of these top talents in the Academy that we feel strongly have pro potential,” Quill said. “It’s my job to make sure that I expedite their development and get them ready for what first team play looks like. So that’s getting guys into the first team mix, whether that be Open Cup or regular season play, or any kind of friendlies, that’s going to be a massive goal of mine so that these guys are always in the shop window for Luchi.”
Leading a new team with a duel focus on winning games and fostering player development will undoubtedly present numerous hurdles. However, with a little over two months to construct and mold his team before the season opener, Quill feels he is prepared.
“I feel good with the amount of time I have,” Quill said. “The biggest thing is going and meeting everybody and earning the trust of the guys on the field. That’s the first step, getting around the guys and getting them to know me.”