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A new beginning
Former football pro coaching at academy
2 Quincy Carter pic1
Quincy Carter leads the offense through a film study of the teams first game against Dominion School. The former quarterback for the Georgia Bulldogs and Dallas Cowboys is in his first year with the private school, which won the game against Dominion School, 31-6. - photo by James G. Wolfe Jr. Dawson Community News

A former professional quarterback is forging a new path for himself in Dawson County.

Quincy Carter, who starred at the University of Georgia before playing for the Dallas Cowboys and New York Jets, is the offensive coordinator for Dawson Christian Academy's middle school football team.

Carter battled substance abuse during his time as a professional athlete, which also included stints in arena football, but is determined to turn his life around in Dawsonville.

Now nine months sober, Carter credits divine will with presenting the opportunity for his role at the academy.

While at a movie theater in Cumming during the summer, Carter was approached by academy coach Josh Watson's brother-in-law, Mike McCarron.

During the course of the conversation, Carter learned the school had a need to fill at offensive coordinator and jumped at the chance.

"I just feel like it was God sent," Carter said. "I mean, how many guys do you meet at a movie theater, three weeks before the season, with everything just how it needs to be?"

Carter said he was excited to be a part of the school's middle school team, which is in its first year, and actually felt nervous before the first game last week.

"I've got butterflies," Carter said during the team's warm-ups. "This is my first coaching job. I've done camps and everything like that, but as far as coaching, this is my first game."

So far, Carter seems to have a knack for coaching.

Coey Watson, the team's quarterback, said he's improved under Carter's tutelage.

"He's made me a better player already. I love working with him. He really knows his stuff," said Watson, who is too young to recall Carter's college and pro career.

"But I've been looking him up on YouTube," Watson said. "I've watched a lot of his bowl games [at Georgia]. He was so fast and good."

Carter plans to make his life in Dawsonville and has already moved into town.

"We've got a good program and I'm excited about this opportunity," Carter said. "I really want to live here and make this my home."

Watson said he was excited for both the team and Carter.

"I believe he was definitely God sent," Watson said. "Everything we've done, God's led us to where we are now. It hasn't been an easy road, but it's not supposed to be."

As for the team, Watson said there will definitely be a learning curve.

"We've got a lot of new players that have never played before," Watson said. "We may be small in numbers but we're big in heart."

That heart was put on display for the opening game against the Dominion School from Marietta. Dawson Christian won 31-6.

The academy will play a six-game, regular-season schedule before heading into the playoffs. One postseason victory would put the team in the championship game.

"The [Georgia Independent School Association] was full, so we started a new league with Dominion, Kings Ridge and Crown called CSAA [Christian Schools Athletic Association]," Watson said.

"Our goal would be to move on from there and play local teams and [Georgia High School Association] teams once we hit our numbers."

While the future may be bright for the team, Carter is focused on the present.

"I'm just looking to making a life here at Dawson Christian Academy and in Dawsonville," Carter said. "We might call it crazy, but I know God does things in mysterious ways and you never know when you'll be in the right spot at the right time.

"I was, and I'm just so thankful to the school, the coaching staff and most of all to God for this opportunity."

At present, Carter's role with the school is strictly as the middle school offensive coordinator, but Hope Chism, the school's athletic coordinator, said that may change over time.

"As our relationship with Quincy grows, his role at the school might grow," Chism said. "Right now, he's only working with the athletic department, but in time that may change."

The academy's next game is Sept. 8 against Crown Athletics in Woodstock. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m.