BOISE, Idaho — Jamie Quarles is accustomed to Madness in March.
He was a senior on the Augusta University squad in 2007-08 that competed in the Division II National Championship.
Ten years later, he had a front row seat to one of the big upsets in the 2017-18 Division I NCAA Tournament.
Quarles, now an assistant coach with the University of Buffalo, was on the sideline for the 13th-seeded Bulls’ 89-68 upset win over the fourth-seeded Arizona Wildcats.
“Two things we will do for sure are compete, and play hard. We have adopted a blue-collar mentality here,” Quarles said prior to the matchup with Arizona. “Regardless of the outcome when the final horn sounds, Buffalo will, without a doubt, have played hard and competed.”
Previously, Quarles had been the top assistant coach for six seasons at Augusta.
“Playing in the NCAA tourney in my first year is still surreal,” Quarles said. “I was very fortunate to coach in several Division II national tournaments during my time in Augusta.
“March Madness, however, is something that, as a young guy breaking into coaching, you dream about.”
How did Quarles make the trek from Georgia to New York and end up on Buffalo’s sideline? A friend in coaching made him aware of the opportunity, he explained.
“(Buffalo coach) Nate Oats was pretty open. He was looking for a hard-working guy to take a chance on,” Quarles said. “I was fortunate that he gave the opportunity to be that guy, and the rest is history.”
The 2008 graduate of Augusta University with a B.S. in Education achieved his master’s degree in Kinesiology & Health Science in May 2013. He was also highlighted as one of the Top 10 Young Professionals To Watch by Augusta Magazine.
Quarles credits his coaching experiences in Augusta, and Jaguars coach Dip Metress for preparing him for the Buffalo job.
“While at Augusta I had an opportunity to do everything from help run practice to ordering the meals and washing the uniforms,” Quarles said. “Dip gave me tons of responsibility. That has helped mold me into the coach I am today and the coach I aspire to be going forward in this business.”
Next up for Buffalo is a matchup with fifth-seeded Kentucky.