Rashawn Quinzy Earns the Soldiers To Sidelines Soldier Coach of the Month January 2024 

Soldiers To Sidelines is honored to recognize Rashawn Quinzy as the first Soldier Coach of the Month 2024. Coach Quinzy is a retired U.S. Army Green Beret, who has poured his heart and soul into serving our country as a basketball coach. Rashawn certified with Soldiers To Sidelines almost two years ago and has attended many of our continued development workshops while developing his coaching craft in his local North Carolina community. He is currently the Head Men’s Varsity Basketball Coach at Freedom Christian Academy, Fayetteville, NC. Rashawn is the model of integrity, work ethic, studiousness, and growth mindset.  

Rashawn grew up in adversity which has shaped his perseverance and empathy leading to a successful military career. Now he brings his tremendous experience and lessons learned to build his players into the next generation of leaders. Coach Quinzy continues to inspire his players to be the best they can be and live a life of happiness through deliberate work. Read on to learn about Rashawn’s Incredible story and the impact he makes in his community. 

STS: Tell us the story of how and why you got into coaching? How has it impacted you as a person? 

Coach Quinzy: I was a foster child from the age of four and had many different parents throughout that time. Some good, some bad but the consistent positive thing throughout that experience has been my coaches. They gave me purpose when I thought I had none, taught me how to be a man when I had no father figure and cared about me and my situation outside of sports. With that, I understand and empathize with every individual as we are at different places in life. My goal is to meet people at that place in their life and provide value. 

STS: How has your military experience influenced you as a coach? 

Coach Quinzy: It has influenced the way in which I build a team. Instead of focusing on the individual and collective skill development for the particular sport, I initially focus on other things that will be the baseline for those things to happen. Things such as building discipline, improving physical and mental toughness, developing camaraderie and the ability to work as a team. 

STS: Describe an interaction with a player that has a special place in your heart -  

Coach Quinzy: My first year coaching middle school basketball, I coached a young man that was in the foster care system just like I was. Initially, he did not try out for the team because of embarrassment that others would become aware of his situation and he couldn’t afford basketball shoes. I spoke with the school’s social worker and called his foster parents to offer to take him home from practice and get him the gear necessary to play basketball. The following week, I showed up to his gym class to tell him my story and then presented him with new basketball shoes. He played for me his 8th grade year and currently plays in high school, I still keep up with him to this day. 

STS: What are your aspirations in coaching? 

Coach Quinzy: To serve at any level I can influence a generation to change our society for the better. In my case, I believe I would be the most effective at the collegiate level.  

STS: What was the most difficult challenge you have experienced in coaching and what have you learned from it? 

Coach Quinzy: Dealing with parents wanting to get their children to college for sports. Throughout the many meetings with parents and their children, I’ve learned to get to the root cause of “why” they want them to go to college and play sports. Because with a big enough WHY, I can influence the parent and athlete to conquer the HOW that I prescribe. 

 STS: Describe your coaching beliefs. 

Coach Quinzy: I believe that being on a team develops a sense of community, belonging and promotes positive social values. Through this, they learn to work with others, respect authority and trust in one another. And just as the bible teaches us to honor God with our bodies, sports helps with the maintenance of good health, physical fitness and positive use of leisure time. My intent as a coach is to foster an environment that is safe, energetic and fun so that they want to play the sport they love, and succeed not only on the court but in life. Furthermore, support the legacy of positive influence passed from generation to generation that reforms our society from the inside out!