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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Track dedication

St. Joe’s names track after Coach Kevin Quinn ’62

The track located on Saint Joseph’s University’s Sweeney Field will be named after Kevin Quinn ’62 in an event held on Sept. 23 at 11 a.m. on Sweeney Field.

Quinn graduated from St. Joe’s with a Bachelor’s degree in history and was a member of the track and cross country teams during his four years at St. Joe’s.

Quinn began coaching the men’s cross country and track squads in 1966, later becoming the coach of the women’s track and field and cross country squads in 1985. He coached both teams for 49 years before retiring in 2014.

Quinn did not know that the track was going to be named the Kevin Quinn ’62 Track until the night of his retirement dinner.

“I was very surprised,” said Quinn. “They just announced it and I went ‘oh my goodness gracious!’ You don’t expect to have something named for you.”

Some of Quinn’s most notable feats as coach include leading the teams to one Atlantic 10 conference; two cross country championships; victories at two Mid-Atlantic conference championships; 10 school records in 1997 as well as first place in the 4 x 800 meter relay at the Penn Relays. He was also inducted into the St. Joe’s Athletics Hall of Fame in 2001.

Emma Slattery ’14, said that one of her favorite memories of Quinn was when the team would go to cross country camp in Maryland every year.

“Coach Quinn just loved this cross country camp, and he’d wake us up every morning at 6 a.m.” said Slattery. “But he would also whistle all the way there, so if you happened to be awake you could hear him approaching as the whistling got closer and closer, and then he would knock.”

Slattery recalls when the team broke records for the distance medley relay (DMR), but also always remembers the advice Quinn would give her when she felt nervous about a race.

“His pep talk to me at that time was ‘Just be Emma,’” Slattery said. “And those words had such a calming effect on me. It’s so simple. That’s so easy. He was so good at knowing exactly what each runner needed to hear.”

Slattery remembered the day Quinn told the team he was going to retire. His announcement made her cry.

“He was the reason I came to St. Joe’s and I wanted to run for him,” she said. “I wanted to be on Coach Quinn’s team.”

The track that circles Sweeney Field will become Kevin Quinn ’62 Track (Photo by Luke Malanga ’20).

One of Quinn’s favorite memories from being on the team was when Joe Gentner ’79, won the Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America (IC4A) race in 1979.

“My favorite one [memory] was a fella named Joe Gentner and he won the IC4A, and it was completely unexpected and not only that, it was most deserving,” Quinn said. “He
was one of the hardest working, most dedicated people that I’ve ever coached.”

Gentner credits Quinn for much of his success, on and off the track.

“He was a big influence on me later in life, as much as my parents,” Gentner said. “I always say my parents first, then Coach Quinn is a very close second.”

Gentner also said that it was difficult to place Quinn in just one category as coach, because he was more than that to many of the team members.

“He was a teacher, a parent, a disciplinarian, a psychologist, a friend. He was one of a kind and his success goes way beyond his championships and what he did on the track,” Gentner said.

After attending St. Joe’s for four years and then coaching for 49 years, Quinn said he never considered coaching at other universities.

“I never really wanted to go anywhere else,” Quinn said. “I was perfectly happy.”

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