As the college football season comes to a conclusion with the National Championship game this week, we look back on the season that was for the East Tennessee State University Buccaneers.
In the previous off-season, the Buccaneers welcomed new head football coach George Quarles. Coach Quarles spent the previous five seasons at their fellow Southern League member Furman. During his time at Furman, Quarles served as the offensive coordinator, quarterbacks coach, and as associate head coach. Furman reached the FCS playoffs in 2017 and 2019. Quarles was brought into ETSU to replace Randy Sanders, who retired. In his final season, Sanders guided the Buccaneers to an 11-2 record and a quarterfinals loss in the FCS playoffs to eventual champion North Dakota State.
Quarles started off his tenure as head coach with a strong win, drubbing Mars Hill to a final of 44-7. ETSU, unfortunately, would not see much success the rest of the year, including their week three matchup against the head coaches former team Furman where the Buccaneers would lose 27-14. East Tennessee State would go on to win only two more games the rest of the season to an overall record of 3-8, including a disappointing 1-7 in conference play.
After completing his first season, Quarles wasted no time on the recruitment trail by putting together a strong early signing period that included bringing in current college transfers as well as high school seniors. With a 3-win season, there will be plenty of opportunities on both sides of the ball for the new signees to contribute.
Now with the 2022 season in the rear-view mirror, the Buccaneers can look forward to 2023 in hopes of returning to their winning ways and once again competing for the conference crown.