Late last year Port St. Joe Jr./Sr. High School inducted 12 new members of the school’s Athletics Hall of Fame, the largest single-year class since the inception of the Hall of Fame.
This week, we wrap-up a closer look at each member of that class; in prior installments we have more closely examined Ashley Abrams, Jim Belin, Lawrence Bowen, Chris Butts, Waylon Graham, Theo Johnson, William Lane, Ray Lawrence, Kayla Parker McQueen and Rodney Nobles.
In a period and time when Port St. Joe athletics was redefining its identity and branding, Terry Quinn’s talent, desire, and work ethics exemplified the direction that Shark athletics was taking. Terry, a 1989 graduate of Port St. Joe High School, was a dominant football player and viewed by his teammates, coaches, and teachers as a young man who wanted to be the best he could be, a hard worker, and exhibited a positive attitude and leadership.
After graduation, Terry accepted a scholarship to play football at the University of Louisville, where he became a starter at cornerback and was nominated as the team captain for the 1994-95 football season. Terry recalls his best Cardinal game memory was when he was in uniform as a redshirt freshman during the Fiesta Bowl victory over Alabama in 1990. Quinn was known as a hard-hitting downhill tackler at the CB spot for the Cards and was credited for a clean blow that caused Alabama’s and future pro running back Mario Bates to stay on the sidelines for the rest of the game. Terry had a brief NFL career with the Buffalo Bills.
During his years at Port St. Joe High School, Terry was a standout athlete at basketball, track, weightlifting, and certainly – football. Today, Terry Quinn is the Assistant Head Coach of Lowndes County School District football team where he coaches for one of the top high school programs in the country.
Terry still closely follows his Sharks, and can usually be seen at a Shark game on Friday night whenever his own team is idle.
“Black Bart” … Coach
Wayne Stevens was a fixture of Port St. Joe Football – forever!
No player came through the Port St. Joe Athletic Program, and moreover, football during the modern era that Coach Stevens didn’t touch their lives.
Wayne Stevens is a lifelong Shark - beyond all others! As a student at Port St. Joe High School, Wayne played as a member of Shark Football teams from 1957-1962. He also played on the Shark basketball team, and competed at track and field.
As a coach, Coach Stevens was assistant football coach from 1970-2002, a period of 32 years; during which the Sharks won two state championships (1971 and 1984), were twice state runners-up, and celebrated several district titles.
Coach Stevens was “old school” “grind it out” kind of football. Ask any “kid” who was a part of one of those teams, and they are bound to tell you that Coach Stevens’ favorite play was “Power 23.” Execute it correctly, and you’d score every time!
Coach Wayne Stevens retired from teaching in 2002 after dedicating most of his adult life to doing what he loved, teaching and coaching. While in active service to Port St. Joe High School, Coach Stevens was instrumental and key to beginning the athletic weight program.
Black Bart was a pirate, and that was the nickname Shark players affectionately attached to Coach Stevens. As such, Black Bart had a way of accentuating the pre-game atmosphere, especially when Shark teams were about to face off against rival opponents…during pregame before the Blountstown game in the 1984 season, many former players from that team still recall his one-line motivational statement to the team before taking the field…”Men, I don’t like Blountstown!” St. Joe won that game decidedly, and went on to win the state championship that year.
Coach Stevens wasn’t boastful, and was a man of chosen words. For decades he gave tirelessly of himself to help shape boys into men. Today, Coach Stevens still makes Port St. Joe his home, goes to church, and comes out on most Fridays during the fall to see his Sharks suit up.
When asked for comment, Coach Stevens said, “The thing about coaching is the kids! I miss them!”