Quentin Moses did not have any children, but plenty of people viewed him like a father.
That was evident in the packed gym bleachers at Reinhardt University Wednesday afternoon as the school held a “Celebration of Life” ceremony for the assistant football coach and former Georgia Bulldog.
People had to stand in the doorway as family, players, coaches, students and faculty gathered to pay their respects following his death on Sunday.
The room was silent while the football team filed in, with each player adding a single white flower to a beautiful arrangement on stage. At the center of that arrangement was a single candle, commemorating the light that “Coach Q” brought into the lives of others.
“If there’s anything Coach Moses did, he made everybody better that he came in touch with,” Reinhardt head coach James Miller said. “He was an inspiration to us all. … If there’s one thing I’ll remember about Quentin, it’s that you’ve always got to look for the positive.”
Moses played football at Georgia from 2003-2006. He was part of the Bulldogs’ 2005 SEC Championship team and was named first-team All-SEC that year. He was drafted in 2007 and played with three different NFL teams.
But while those accomplishments were mentioned, the impact he had on his players and family was at the forefront.
Miller talked about Coach Q’s insistence on giving people second chances. Athletic director William Popp described Moses’ joy as “infectious” and remembered him as a man of strong Christian faith. Players and family members cried and comforted one another as the service went on.
Reinhardt defensive end Javier Dyer’s voice shook as he read Psalm 121: “My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” Fellow defensive player Jalen Hollomon had to gather himself more than once as he read a passage from Romans 8, which talks about being “more than conquerors” in the face of hardship.
Dr. Kina Millard, the president of Reinhardt, was tasked with a eulogy. But she realized the people best able to capture who Moses was were the players he loved. So she spent some of her time simply reading what many of those young men had written about Moses on social media this week.
“I just want to sit back and have another father-son talk. Another player-coach talk. Another brother-little brother talk.”
“This is unreal. Words can’t describe how much we’ll miss you, coach. Thank you for all you did. Keep watch over us from up there.”
“What I loved about you the most: You always gave people a chance. Even people that a lot of folks had given up on. You gave them a chance.”
“You taught me so much. You even brought me closer to God, even as you found your way closer.”
“If I knew talking to you was my last time the other night, it wouldn’t have been about getting sacks. It would have been about how you changed my life.”
Popp announced that in 2017, the team’s top defensive lineman each week will get to wear No. 94–Moses’ number at Georgia–in his honor.
At the end of the service, everyone in the gym placed their hands on each other’s shoulders. They bowed their heads in prayer and remembrance.
Then, as everyone prepared to leave, Moses’ godson took the stage. The young man described the pain of Moses’ death as “unbearable.”
“But I know in my heart, that if he were standing here right now, he would want me to be strong,” he said. “And that’s what I’m going to be. Quentin Moses was my godfather, a great man, a friend, a father figure, a role model, a son, and an uncle. The love he had for his family and friends was unconditional.”
So was the love everyone had for him.