Former NFL running back takes over as University of Fort Lauderdale coach

Courtesy of Quincy Wilson
·3 min read

Two carries, two yards.

That was the extent of Quincy Wilson’s NFL rushing totals, but at least he made it to the league, which is the dream of most every kid who picks up a football.

In February of this year, Wilson, 41, reached another milestone when he became a head coach for the first time.

He was hired to run the University of Fort Lauderdale Eagles program, which went 0-7 last year in their inaugural season. That was under former Dolphins wide receiver Chris Chambers.

Now it’s Wilson’s turn, and he’s thrilled to get this chance after coaching as an assistant at mostly low-level stops since 2012.

“I’ve been yearning to be a head coach for 10 years,” said Wilson, 41. “It’s a new program, and I get the chance to build it the way I want to build it, and it feels right.”

The Eagles compete in the National Christian College Athletic Association. Within a couple of years, Wilson said he hopes the Eagles are in the NAIA’s Sun Conference along with local rivals St. Thomas and Florida Memorial.

In the meantime, Wilson has 61 players on his current roster, including 22 returners.

Wilson was hired after the 2022 National Signing Day, which meant that he has had to scramble to add 39 recruits, including freshmen, transfers and some players who have been away from the game for a couple of years.

Among the assistants hired by Wilson is Damon Cogdell, who was the head coach in 2009 when Miramar won the Class 6A state title. Cogdell has also served as a defensive ends coach at West Virginia and at South Florida.

Wilson, who rushed for 1,380 yards as a West Virginia senior running back in 2003, used his Mountaineers connections to bring in Cogdell, who was a linebacker for WVU.

“Quincy called me,” said Cogdell, a 46-year-old who will serve as Fort Lauderdale’s defensive coordinator. “I know it’s going to be challenging, but I want to help as much as I can.”

Wilson, who was the Atlanta Falcons’ seventh-round pick in 2004, said he uses the experience he gained from his playing days as a way to reach his Eagles athletes.

“I ask my guys to play hard and not make the same mistake twice,” said Wilson, who is the son of former star linebacker and Chicago Bears 1985 Super Bowl champion Otis Wilson. “But I’m also a players’ coach. When I coach, I bring energy.”

Wilson said he wants Fort Lauderdale to be a power running team. On defense, he will use a 3-3-5 base formation.

As for his own playing days, he was stuck behind running backs Warrick Dunn and T.J. Duckett with the Falcons. He was cut by the Falcons as a rookie in 2004, and, two years later, he was with the Cincinnati Bengals when he got his only two regular-season carries in a 38-13 blowout loss to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.

Wilson lost three yards on his first carry and then gained five yards on second down.

“I was a fringe guy, but I made it,” Wilson said. “I hung around enough, played special teams, stayed healthy and got my name on a playing card.”


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