Joe Quarles

1992 Greater Flint Afro-American Hall of Fame Inductee


Parent: John L.T. (Bermica N.) Quarles
Daughters: Pamela Jo and Charise Simpson

Joe was born in Flint and attended Flint schools. He was a two sports star at Flint Central High School — in basketball and football. As Joe grew up, he knew some of the great stars at Central. Floyd Bates, one of the finest all around athletes in Flint, was Joe’s cousin. Don Coleman, Jessie Thomas and the Ingram brothers were also Central stars. At Central, Joe was one of the most talked about sophomore athletes in Flint’s history. Joe was blessed with so much natural talent until his approach to the game appeared to be nonchalant. But, once the game started you could see the joy of competing in his smile. One of the Central coaches, after watching Joe perform remarked, “you only see a fellow like that once in a long while.”

For his size, 6’2″, 180 pounds, he had good speed but his quickness was almost unbelievable. In basketball Joe set many records at Central, City and Saginaw Valley. It all began with the single game scoring record of 28 points in 1953. Joe was on the second team All Valley and led Central in scoring with 124 points. It was the beginning of one of the greatest achievements in Flint sports history.

In 1954, Joe led Central in scoring with 194 points and best shooting average (389.0). He was also the team’s Most Valuable Player. In the following basketball season, Joe set 10 scoring records, en route to being the City and Regional basketball champions. He was All City team center, unanimous All Saginaw Valley center and All State center. His team voted him Most Valuable Player. Joe was the first Flint Class A player to exceed 40 points in a single game. He set school, city, and Valley records in consecutive games, scoring 41 points against Bay City and 43 points against Saginaw. It also was a two game school, City and Saginaw Valley record of 84 points. Joe had a 10 game Valley scoring average of 24.4 points, and was the Valley scoring champion with 244 points. Best Flint high school scoring average in 13 games (Northern and Central 23.9 points). Joe’s Flint high school season scoring record in 19 games was 400 points. City series scoring record in five games, average 16.8 points. Joe was also Flint’s regular season Class A high school scorer in 14 games, 327 points. He held the Ballenger Field House single game scoring record of 43 points in 1955.

In football at Central, Joe was one of the best two way players. His head coach Bill Doolittle put Joe on offense after his rugged play on defense against his teammates in practice. In football he was unparalled at left end in the city, valley and state. In 1954 he was voted co-captain of the football team. Joe earned honors on the All-City team and unanimous All-Saginaw Valley left end. Joe was selected first team, left end, on every Michigan All-State football team selected in 1954. Joe’s performances at Flint Central was one of the most memorable careers in Flint high school sports history. His high school sports career was cut short because of the 19 year age rule.

Joe is now employed at Chevrolet V-8 Engine Truck and Bus.