The second-year head football coach took a program that finished 11–2 in 2021 and went 3–8 in his first season. To say he sits on a stove is an understatement.
How many games does George Quarles have to win in 2023 to be retained for 2024?
Would a 6–5 mark on a schedule that has just five home games be sufficient?
Or would retaining Quarles after such a season lead Buccaneers fans, now with greater expectations for their football program than ever before, to ask why ETSU is keeping a coach who won nine games in two years when the season before they won 11?
The fact is right now things don’t look very good for ETSU football. Yes, they retain the quarterback that led them to the quarterfinals of the FCS playoffs in 2021, but after 26 players from last year entered the transfer portal what kind of a supporting cast will Tyler Riddell have?
True, not all of the players who entered in to the portal transferred away. Riddell himself was one of the 26 who entered the portal before changing his mind and returning to Johnson City.
For this, Quarles has lured Timothy Dorsey, a quarterback who couldn’t even get on the field at Illinois State, to reportedly compete with his veteran leader.
Joe Avento of the Johnson City Press reports linebackers Stephen Scott, Di’Andre Davis, and Devan Brantley also have returned after not finding greener climes.
Not negative news, but also news that simply states the eighth, tenth, and 17th leading tacklers from a losing team last year have returned.
And that’s kind of what returns from a team that looked like such a sure thing heading in to last season; lots of “we hope so’s” and very few proven talents.
Two months ago Stan Becton, writing for ncaa.com, put the Bucs in the sixth of his eight tiers of FCS hierarchy for 2023.