Quillin leaves Sussex Tech to coach Seaford High football team

Mark Quillin

SEAFORD — Sure, Mark Quillin likes a challenge.

If he didn’t, he certainly wouldn’t have taken the wrestling coaching job at Delmar High several years ago when the program had just 10 wrestlers.

“When I got there,” Quillin recalled, “they said, ‘Hey, if you can’t get things going, we’re going to close the program down.’”

So Quillin said he isn’t fazed by trying to turn around the scuffling Seaford High football program, either.

After seven seasons as Sussex Tech’s head coach, the 52-year-old Quillin was recently approved as the Blue Jays’ coach. Seaford hasn’t won more than four games in a season since before 2008.

“I was looking to get back into a community school,” said Quillin, who was an assistant coach at Delmar for 12 seasons before going to Sussex Tech. “My assistant coach at Tech is actually a Seaford High alumni, Clint Dunn. We’ve talked about it a good bit over the last few years.

“We said, ‘Hey, if anything ever comes up, let’s try to make a difference somewhere with a program that’s struggling a little bit. Let’s try to make a difference where it really does matter.’”

A coaching veteran of 30 seasons, Quillin has actually been working in the Seaford School District since Feb. 11. That gave him a chance to meet a lot of players and potential coaches in the district before schools were closed because of the conronavirus pandemic.

In his seven seasons at Sussex Tech, Quillin compiled a record of 43-30, suffering just one losing campaign. His best season came in 2014 when the Ravens finished 10-2 and reached the DIAA Division I state semifinals.

Quillin, who took Sussex Tech to the state tourney twice, was named the state Division I Coach of the Year after that season.

The Towson University grad said he understands the situation he’s facing at Seaford.

“I think there’s a great underlying tradition there,” said Quillin. “Back in the 1980s and early ‘90s, they were the team to beat. I think it’s got a wonderful community base.

“I’ve had the opportunity to come into some programs and redevelop them — give the short-term plan and the long-term plan. Over the last 30 years, I’ve been around some really good coaches. I really want to go some place that’s been struggling but that has a strong community. I think it (Seaford) is a hidden gem in the Henlopen South.”

Along with revitalizing Delmar’s wrestling program, Quillin also started the Wildcats’ boys’ lacrosse program. Before that, he started a football program from scratch at Baltimore’s Western Tech High.

Quillin will now be trying to keep Seaford’s football players at their home school rather than transferring to schools like Sussex Tech.

“It’s got some great talent,” he said. “There’s some great athletes. Ironically, I had many of those great athletes at Sussex Tech when I was there. One of the biggest things is getting those kids to stay in Seaford.”

Quillin’s other coaching stops included working as an assistant at Salisbury University and being the defensive coordinator at Wicomico, Md. High.

Quillin said it was a great experience coaching his two sons, Travis and Nathan, in football and lacrosse at Sussex Tech. But they’re both in college now.

“I’ve got a little more free time to spend on a program that really needs the help,” he said. “We’ve been diving into Seaford football since February.”